The faint sound of a baby cry filters through my door. My eyes slowly blink open as a gentle stream of light leaks around the edges of my blackout curtain. I wrestle my arms out from underneath my covers. Sitting up I rub my eyes, and let out an impressive yawn. Still half asleep, I glance at my clock. “8A.M.” I whine to myself. “It is morning already!” Plopping back down, I insert myself back under the sheets. I roll over, and bury my head under my pillow in attempt to do away with the fact that morning is actually here. Grasping my comforter tightly, I long for 5 more minutes of sleep. Unfortunately there is no snooze button with babies.
As Elias continues to snivel and whimper in his bed, I try to persuade myself that he is totally fine and those are just phantom cries that I am hearing. Right as I am about to convince myself of this nonsense a little row of red lights on the baby monitor yells at me to wake up. I try to ignore them, but when an impressively loud howl fires into my ears, I know I have to get up. It is such a remarkable cry that I start envisioning Elias with one leg twisted between the bars of his baby bed or with his poor face lodged between the mattress and the bars. Or maybe Elias has simply found out that his mommy isn’t a morning person and he has to reach this extraordinarily high note in his cry just to get me moving.
Whatever the reason, I throw back the covers and stand to my feet attempting to find balance. I pause for a moment and stretch, extending my arms far above my head. After another yawn and a dull moan, I drag one foot behind the other to go get my baby. Passing the bathroom mirror, I catch a glimpse of myself and can’t help but stop. Bleary-eyed, I look at my sleep-attired glory. I suppress a giggle as half of my light-colored hair is kinked and standing up on end, while the other half is nicely plastered to my scalp. I attempt to run my fingers through the ends of my hair. “I can’t go in there like this…it will scare my poor child!” I mumble to myself as I fish around an unorganized box of hair stuff to find a hair tie. A loud sob surfaces on my baby’s lips as I pull my hair into a messy bun. “This will have to do.” I mutter as I look at the reflection of unimpressive hair.
Making my way to Elias’ room, I slowly turn the door knob. His tiny head turns toward me, and he peeks up from behind the white bars of his crib. Perfecting his new skill, He turns onto his stomach and excitedly wiggles onto all fours. Eagerly I approach him with outstretched arms, “Good morning, baby boy!”
The anticipation is too much for him; he practically is leap frogging his way into the crib wall. I can’t help but question why I took the bumper pads off, when he is struggling to keep his face out of the white bars. “Smothering hazard,” I whisper to myself, “it’s probably something only first time mom’s worry about,” I continue, with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. Nonetheless, I convince myself that he survived the night without being smothered, so it is worth it. Scooping Elias into my arms, a toothless grin appears on my son’s face. I wipe away the final tear that seems to have frozen on the top of his little cheek and then kiss his bed head. That is one thing he has inherited from me- bed head! Unable to resist cuddling with my 15 pound bundle of energy, I give him a little squeeze, rub his back, and kiss him again. Elias rests his small head on my shoulder, as I whisper in his ear, “I love you.”
After precisely 5 seconds of this Hallmark moment, Elias’s tummy reminds us why he woke up. Like a grizzly bear, his belly growls. As if I can see his blood sugar levels going down before my very eyes, I promise him breakfast right after a quick diaper change. A disappointed whine rings through the air, as I lay him on a padded changing table. “You are not going back to bed” I try to assure him, but he begins to bawl. The explanation, that I could not possibly carry him down stairs if I didn’t remove this heavy diaper, seems to bounce right off of his squirming body. Sliding a new diaper under him, I tell him about the awesome bananas he is going to have for breakfast. Not seeing past the moment, he remains unconvinced and mouths his complaint. All he can think about is breakfast. He doesn’t care about powder, wipes, a fresh diaper, No! All he wants is food–and now.
Snapping the last button of his sleeper into place, we make our way downstairs. Sitting in his high chair, Elias’ bananas soon form into a King Tut beard under his chin. He is pleased. Well pleased. I too am content, for it is days like this–days that are filled with family moments, everyday diaper changes, regular breakfast, etc… that I can’t help but thank God for the day and for the gift of a son. Sometimes ordinary days turn out to be the best days.