I emerge from the nursery slowly and silently, grabbing the monitor to check for movement. He’s asleep. It’s 8:30 and it only took him one bottle, two diaper changes, one refused paci, and one rocking to get there, but he’s asleep. Somewhere, a choir of angels rejoices in song. It’s “our time.”
In the short length of time between when our precious little guy falls asleep and when we crash on the bed ourselves– exhausted from another full day of fulfilling the roles of workers, adults, and parents– we find our time. In this snippet of the day, I soak in the memories of our life pre-baby, when the TV could be higher than volume 10 and captions weren’t needed. When we’d be able to open a bag of chips without having to go to the opposite end of the house to do it so that it won’t wake our dear little one. When we’d play with the dog and encourage her barks.
Our time is different now.
You’ve begun to put your phone down when I return from the nursery, and I know it’s because you’ve come to appreciate our time too.
“Is he asleep?” you say each time as I pick up the monitor.
“Yes,” I reply. “Wasn’t that so funny, what I tagged you in on Facebook?” We hadn’t the chance to discuss it yet, of course. Little guy had been nodding off in my arms when I discovered it.
“Yes! Hilarious. Do you want some ice cream?” you ask and you know what? I do.
Maybe we’ll have a beer, too. No, he could wake up. Remember that time when we had a couple of beers and then he woke up…? A challenging evening to say the least.
The dog is sleeping on her memory foam bed and plaid blanket. She looks warm and cozy. She’s older now. I think she understands the concept of baby, but I miss those late playtimes. Has the dog been outside lately? She might need to go potty.
“I took her out already,” you say as you read my mind. Of course you did. Thank goodness for you.
Guess I’ll just mold into the couch and relax then. Wait, is he moving? Did you hear that? He’s still sleeping. Wait, is he breathing? He’s breathing. Relax.
The ice cream is good. Better than good. It’s possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I’m not certain if that’s a genuine feeling or if I’m just so ready to relax that the timing of the ice cream is ideal. I don’t know who at Edy’s came up with the Drumstick flavor but I owe you one.
He’ll probably wake up around 4 am as he’s been doing during this 4 month sleep regression. Our little guy used to sleep 11-12 hours a night in the Rock & Play. Now we get six hours up front in the crib, followed by a 4 am wake up call, a rough time rocking back to sleep, and a return to all reality at 7 or so AM.
But let’s not think about later just yet. For now, it is our time.
You ask if I want to watch our show on DVR. Of course I do. I otherwise always have so much on my mind and I’m grateful that you know me well. The hour-long episode is over in what seems like minutes.
My ice cream is gone and I move from the couch to the floor next to the loveseat just to be closer to you. We were whispering and I got tired of saying “what??” I want to hear you. I want to have a conversation with you, even if we have to whisper it all. I miss you.
There’s not much left to be said when one of us announces that we’re heading to bed, which means the other is likely coming along, too, unless it’s some special occasion where one of us has off the next day and the other doesn’t. We usually go to bed together these days, but we didn’t always. Pillow talk is the bedtime version of our time. I can’t wait.
Some talk about what we’re doing as a family this weekend ensues as we both look at our phones. As always, you fall asleep with your phone in your hands and if drops to the floor, scaring me whole-heartedly. You’re snoring just a few seconds later.
Our time is over, but it’ll return tomorrow. We’ll watch Jeopardy with childlike excitement, whispering the answers aloud to show off as usual. We’ll consider having a beer, but we’ll pass. I foresee this changing as time goes by. We’ll both definitely take some ice cream. We’ll admire the dog. We’ll watch the shows on DVR. We’ll submit to exhaustion together. We’ll remember the days when we preferred to stay up into the wee hours of the morning. We’ll think of the days when we were the only ones that mattered to ourselves and to each other. We’ll be grateful that we progressed as two free spirits to a fun-loving couple to a maturing married pair to nurturing parents.
Our time may have gotten shorter over the years, but, somehow, it’s better.