It’s the Love of His Life

Almost five short years ago, when Jack was a teeny tiny human (now he’s just a teeny human) he was gifted with a baby blanket. I wish I could say it came from a dear Great Grandmother, handcrafted from wool she had spun herself (do you even spin wool?) or maybe as a christening gift from a Godfather (we do not christen, therefore we have no Godfather) but it was actually given to my baby boy by his beautiful and talented mother. Me. Obviously.

I came across this precious little white blanket at Target one shopping day while perusing 400 different things I most likely didn’t need and thought to myself, “Mindy, you need to get your boy a blanket…a lovie…a softy…a baby…that he will love and hug and want to sleep with. Forever. Wouldn’t that be sweet?” So I picked it up and brought it home and forced it upon my son by placing it in his crib each and every night he went to sleep. Frequent exposure to his blanket formed what has now become an addiction. Four-and-a-half years later.

The “baby”, so named by my little man, has become a part of him. An extension. The yin to his yang. The Omega to his Alpha. The Lucy to his Desi. The Baby to his Johnny (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”) The pain to my buttocks.

Sure, “baby” has gotten Jack through some trying times. To name a few: the transition to a bottle, the weaning of his binkie, an ER visit to repair a finger cut, overnighters in an unfamiliar bed. She’s been steadfast and loyal for sure.

But she’s also been the source of some almost sleepless nights. As quickly as she can make my Jack fall fast asleep, her unexplained disappearance has caused the exact opposite effect. We have spent many nights on our hands and knees looking under tables and couch cushions for lost “baby” all the while reassuring our little man while he watches frantically that she will, in fact, reappear. We have given in to a more recent nighttime demand of folding baby into a neat square so that Jack can bounce, yes I said “bounce” his head on her while lulling himself to sleep.

She has become threadbare and what was once pristinely white is now some sort of an off-color beige, despite numerous trips through the wash. I must also disclose that she has taken on some kind of, ahem, odor, that Jack insists is perfectly fine, again, despite numerous and frequent trips through the wash.

I’m ready for “baby” to hit the road. Permanently. In truth, I’d actually like to tie her up to a gigantic cement block and throw her into the Hudson to “swim with the sharks.” Problem: I have no cement blocks, nor do I live in NYC. And I’m not entirely sure that there are even sharks in the Hudson. Nevertheless, she’s becoming more of a problem than a solution and quite honestly I’m tired of Oxy Cleaning the hell out of her every couple of days.

There are two schools of thought here: 1) Let him keep “baby” and he’ll undoubtedly grow out of her himself someday, or 2) Get rid of “baby” and ready myself to be featured in future “it all started when my mother…” weekly therapy sessions.

For now, she stays. The adoration in my baby boy’s eyes for his dingy, synthetic head bouncer is enough to let her remain a permanent fixture in my laundry room for the time being. But the day will undoubtedly come when she will head for bigger and better things. ‘Bigger and better’being the dumpster outside Jack In The Box. Any closer and I’m pretty sure he could sniff her out.

Mindy

A Watched Pot Never Boils…Especially When It’s EMPTY!

You know, I don’t ask for much. I’m a provider by nature and get a whole lot of satisfaction in taking care of my family. Like most wives and/or moms I try to keep good snackies on hand for the kids, clean underwear and socks in the hubbie’s dresser drawer and a good combo of veggies and fruits at mealtimes (black cherry ice cream and baby carrots count, right?) Now, in full disclosure, I should also add that I wholeheartedly enjoy being the recipient of such caretaking at times. And I’ve never been one to turn down a good gift. But it does my heart good to provide just about anything someone needs.

And what I need every single morning is, coffee.

Each night I set up the coffee pot with water and grounds and go to bed dreaming of the steaming, milky, sweetened cup o’ joe that will be greeting me in the morning. It’s a ritual that has become a part of me, like brushing my teeth or starting a new diet every morning.

But occasionally, on a late night, I will ask my night owl of a husband to set up the coffee pot for me. Now, I typically only hand this responsibility over to him if I am so tired I can barely manage to drag myself off to bed. And even then I hesitate.

You might be wondering why I am so passionate about this subject?

Because there is absolutely nothing worse (barring war, death and disease) than waking up in the morning to a cold coffee pot housing yesterday’s leftovers. Otherwise known as the “husband totally forgot to set up the coffee pot” pot. Wiping sleep from my eyes only to look into a cold coffee pot with a half inch of overly black 24-hour old caffeinated sludge is akin to only eating popcorn and hot tamales all week long and gaining two pounds. Horrifying, isn’t it?

Drinking your morning cup of coffee, for those so inclined, is as much a part of the wakeup process as showering or putting on new underpants and to be denied such an instrumental part of my morning is, well, tragic.

Now, back to my husband and his one and only extremely rare responsibility towards providing for my general morning well-being.

He always forgets.

Forgets.

Always.

He.

Tragedy ensues.

And yet I continue to ask him to help me out on those nights where I can barely manage to say my prayers (which usually include asking God to make Jer set up the coffee pot) and I go to sleep, dreaming of my most likely non-existent morning coffee. I wake up and head toward the kitchen, hope lifting me through each step, only to discover he has forgotten again.

And then I make coffee.

And then he comes waltzing in, stopping to give me a sweet kiss on the cheek, notices the coffee machine and begins to genuinely and profusely apologize. And I forgive him. And then we do it all over again.

Love is a frickin’ battlefield.

Until later,

Mindy

“Why not?”

Some people look into the face of my little man and ask, “How can you get mad at a face like that?’

My answer? “I’ll give you ten minutes with the kid and you will see for yourself.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. My son Jack, in all of his 4 year-old glory is a sweet, loving, loyal individual. He is free with the hugs, fierce with the lovin’ and absolutely, 100% madly devoted to his mama. I love him with every part of my being. And he’s a good boy. Except when he’s not. Which is about 65% of the time. Now, I’m no stranger to the widely-held belief that boys are more apt to cause your grays to shine and have been known to bring on a new facial wrinkle in twenty minutes flat and I am here to tell you that in my experience, that only scratches the surface. Jack is one to push your buttons to the point of bursting and then lightly blow on it to send you right over the edge.

And just when you think you can not take another single moment, he hugs you with so much love you forget he ever poured water in your utensils drawer to “warsh them.” And then you forget he ever stuck marshmallows in the toilet to see “if them float”. And you also forget he ever used your hairbrush to clean the “weird things” off the dog’s back legs. You even forget he ever used half a bottle of sunscreen on the table in his bedroom because it “was gettin’ too much sun from the window.”

Still warm from the hug, you look down at your little boy, into his innocent little face and see black smudges marring its beauty…and then you remember. Like waves crashing onto a sandy beach, the memories of all of his better forgotten actions come flooding back. Because he has your mascara all over his face.

You can’t help but ask, “Why, Jack?”

He looks at you and plaintively answers, “Why not?”

Why not, indeed. *insert involuntarily eye twitching”

Bye for now, friends.

Mindy