It’s a strange combination of spring and winter in California right now. The Roger’s Red, which I measure the seasons by, has begun sprouting silvery leaves again. The lavender is blooming in my front bed, and the giant Maple in the front yard is all dappled with fresh green leaves as well. But it has been raining a dreary drizzle for days now.
It reminds me of the winters when I was a child. Our house was mostly windows back then, and the loudness of the rain falling made you feel like you were out in it while simultaneously being able to cuddle up under a fluffy comforter with a book. Sadly, I can no longer cuddle up under anything and expect to read. I have a small boy who needs constant holding and attention. He already grabs my phone when I’ve been reading on my kindle app too much.
He’s surprisingly coordinated now. Meaning that when he tries to put things in his mouth he gets them within an inch of his target, hitting his cheeks or his nose most times. That isn’t what I would call coordinated at all a few months ago, but the fact that he could reach for something and grab it was a revelation, let alone put it mostly where he wants it. He’s like a little birdy with his mouth, too, opening it wide for a pacifier, a plush toy, a fist, or a nipple. He’s putting the whole world in his mouth.
I have discovered that if you put me alone in a room with a small child long enough, what results is silly songs. I’ve been singing “He’s got the whole world in his mouth” to the tune of “whole world in his hands.” You can substitute the verse for whatever he’s currently eating. “He’s got his mother’s knuckle in his mouth,” is a popular one. So is “the sleeve of his onesie,” and “his green knit blanket.” But really you can substitute almost anything. We’ve been trying to avoid “the sudsy washcloth” with more success than not.
I also have been singing him this song, to the tune of “I Hate to Get Up In The Morning.” It’s based on true events.
Oh how I hate to get up in the morning/ oh how I’d love to remain in bed/ But when your son pees on all your fancy clothes/ you’ve got to launder all of those/ Or spend the rest of your life na-ked.
Add that to the bevvy of things we’ve all pulled out of nowhere to sing him, and he’s going to have the strangest musical vocabulary ever. Brian sings him “I Feel Pretty,” (he likes the “la, la, las,”) and my mother has been singing him the theme song to Daniel Boone. I’ve been singing him Alan Sherman tunes amid musicals, hits from the 40’s and 50’s, girl scout camp stuff, and my own silliness. He babbles back with smiles.
It’s harder being home with a kid than it logically should be. I mean, feeding, changing, and playing aren’t theoretically difficult things, it’s just that they never end. But being home with him is also more rewarding than I expected. All I need is to launch into a version of “Look to the Rainbow” and feel this kid snuggle into my chest to feel like it’s all worth it. Maybe days of bedding down in the rain with a book just got more social…