The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


It Won't Last Forever

The babysitter took our son, Alex, to Land’s End, where vendors stopped hawking at tourists to coo at the baby. “You should enjoy ‘em while they’re this age, because it won’t last forever,” they told her.

She found that amusing. Wait a minute, I thought, that’s our kid you’re talking about. We’re paying her fifteen bucks an hour to spend a gorgeous day with our kid while I’m dusting off files to do the taxes.

I wolfed down some lunch while she leisurely strolled the five blocks back to the house. My boobs were bursting, and threatened to stain the W2s and 1098 forms. They make sure I’m never late: better at reminding me to be on schedule than the tax man.

And then it was time to strap on My Brest Friend, a cocktail waitress sort of contraption which frees me to do other things while nursing. Like the taxes. While he was perched like a baby seal on the cushion, I reached past him at a year’s worth of statements, medical records, writing receipts spread out like confetti.

Without the doting attention of grandparents or an idyllic village to raise the little ones, I spend too much time worrying about childcare.

Our regular babysitter aroused me from a last-ditch attempt at slumber early one morning. “I got scheduled for surgery tomorow, and I probably won’t make it today.”

No time to flip out. I shuffled through my mental Rolodex. Nancy, a mother of four who was hustling her last kid toward college, did not pick up her phone. My mother-in-law was lukewarm to babysitting; she’s been there, done that. Luckily, an old friend called and I rallied her out of sabbatical bliss to cover the gap in coverage between Andrew’s work schedule and mine.

When I left the house, Alex was a fed, dry-diapered, smiling imp who hadn’t mustered enough stranger anxiety to feel left once more with a new pair of helping hands. Half an hour later, my friend called to report that he was crying inconsolably.

“Are there tears in his eyes?” I asked her. That meant hunger, true suffering.

She said no. Crocodile tears, that meant he just needed some companionship.

“But I’m holding him,” she told me.

“Waaaaahhh!” Alex protested.

“Maybe he’s teething. Try the plastic bumblebee.” I could see my kid, with the big purple wing in his mouth, which gives him a Cheshire cat of a grin.


“Okay, try walking him around upright.” A change of scene sometimes works, as my husband has discovered.

Patty took him to the basement, a dungeon of baby wipes, a hand-me-down tricycle, and high chair waiting in the wings. Alex calmed down, and Mom’s anxiety ramped down a few notches.

Life with our first child has been a relay race. And yet, I’ve stopped enough amidst the frenzy to realize that this is a special time. Babyhood, like hives and acnes – both of which he’s had with a vengeance – will come to pass soon enough.

“You might take him out in the stroller, get some sunshine,” I suggested. My friend, our latest babysitter, might just be able to enjoy our baby boy at this age -- while it lasts.

By Li Miao Lovett


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