Life is Better on Baby Time

Robin - Sun Valley, California
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I Believe — Life is Better on Baby Time

In college, my favorite professor used to lock the classroom door at

eight a.m. — latecomers were unable to attend. I relished being there! I even

found time to iron my blouse beforehand.

Now I’m a teacher too, and in my own classroom I have heard some

amazing excuses for tardy students. One mother claimed she couldn’t find

her son’s shoes — everyday? Another student came back late from vacation,

with this note: “Sorry, we were snowed-in.” Possible, except where I teach,

in Burbank, California.

But when my son was born a year ago, I was initiated into a new mode

of keeping time: by baby. First, he came into the world late, by a full week. I

did the squats, I ate the salad, I stayed up all night watching The Poseidon

Adventure. If that doesn’t bring on labor, nothing would.

I soon discovered that all ordinary times of day are null and void under

Baby’s Special Theory of Relativity. I learned that four a.m. is a great time to

sing songs, and eleven a.m. is the perfect time to go back to sleep.

Worse was preparing to go out anywhere, at anytime: to get to the

Mommy & Me class, a good 45 minutes, to get to the doctor’s, with change

of clothes, immunization records, and snacks — all morning. I was once an

hour late to a friend’s house after a string of mishaps, including changes of

Baby and myself. As I pulled Baby out of the car, into the pouring rain, his

Winnie the Pooh toy dropped into a swiftly moving river of gutter water. I

watched the fuzzy bear, gently bobbing as he was swept downstream, and it

hit me: my sense of time has gone down the drain.

So when I try to get a whole jar of rice and peas into one little mouth,

stopping often to deal with distractions, and when I usher Baby toward the

car, spending twenty minutes to make the journey across the lawn, stopping

to listen to birds and admire the weeds, I take a deep breath. I remind myself

to enjoy the drowsiness of the afternoon, and the silence of the night. It

won’t last forever, and it is so wonderful — I wouldn’t have it any other way.