These Are the Days

Let me tell you guys what I’ll never be in the Olympics for: sports.

It’s problematic…or it would be if my dream was to be in the Olympics. But if–this is understandably kind of a big “if”–coffee drinking was a sport, I would so be there.

Yes. I, my friends, am the Usain Bolt of coffee dates. The Michelle Kwan of extra foamy lattes. The Michael Jordan of pouring my heart out even if I’ve just met you, so long as we have a scone and a comfy couch.

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Good were the days when I would spend hours at the coffee shops, friends. Good were the days. I’d get there early to do some writing, meet a friend for a heart-to-heart, and then stay late to shop online do more writing. I’m not sure what I was doing with my life, but I was caffeinated and happy. Those were good days.

The days have changed, as days are wont to do, and these days, it usually takes me six hours to get a cup of coffee down the hatch. I give myself bonus points if I finish having microwaved it less than three times. (My favorite trick is to take it in the shower with me. Try it! A spa experience!) Occasionally, I’ll have “coffee dates” at the park, where little feet can run until little bodies are ready for not-so-little nap times (long naps are my secret to sanity.) There is heart-to-hearting, but it’s interrupted by “You can do it!” and “Please stop interrupting me” and “Look at that geyser of a baby I have! I hope I remembered a burp cloth…”

So, indulge me if you will. Let us have a coffee date.

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Last week was a tough one for us. Caleb started a new med school rotation, which means new hours. We were particularly spoiled by his last rotation and so while these hours aren’t the worst ever, they’re making for long days for both of us. By 4 p.m., I’m needing approximately six more cups of coffee to make it to bedtime and I can’t tell you how much Clifford the Big Red Dog has been watched the past week. Let’s just say that we don’t technically have a family dog, but…we kind of do. He’s big. And red. And I’m thankful for him.

We’ve also begun to suspect that Emerson has some sort of intolerance to something I’m eating, because–and I’m really, really sorry about this; I promise to never talk about this again–he’s been having green poop. At first it was kind of a cool party trick, but then we got worried. His pediatrician told me to stop drinking milk, but when that didn’t do the trick, I went ahead and cut out all dairy everywhere. It was all fun and games until I looked on the back of my beloved three-pound bag of Costco chocolate chips and read (in big, bold letters, no less): CONTAINS MILK. Also, this past week I indulged in our weekly pizza night ritual after I scraped off the cheese. (So I had “crust night.”) All this to say that if you find me in Target weeping near the chocolate chip cookies, do a girl a favor and bring me a latte. Better make it an almond milk latte.

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To add more fun to the mix, we also decided to sleep train Emerson this week. As you guys well know, the kid would rather have his nose sucked out with a bulb syringe than go to sleep (if you don’t have a baby, trust me when I say THAT’S A BIG DEAL.) If you don’t have a baby, actually, you may be tilting your head. “Sleep training?” you ask. “How does one…sleep train?” One does it lots of different ways, but we bit the bullet and let him cry (with lots of checks from Mom and Dad). He cried. I cried. The cats cried. It was tough for two nights. But then it got better. And now? Now he goes to sleep much more quickly than he used to when I fought him and rocked him and cajoled him and bounced him and shushed him and geeeeeeeently laid him down only to walk out and hear, “Wah!” as soon as I shut the door.

And sleep training is where we’ll end, but that and the rest (re)taught me perhaps the most beautiful cliche in all of parenting: This, too, shall pass.

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Long days? Short years.

Sometimes, when I’m crouched in the pantry, praying that the chocolate chips would become milkless so I could eat my usual six handfuls, I picture their tiny little faces as bigger, wiser, older faces. At night, after they’re asleep, I scroll through the pictures I took of them two weeks, a month, six months ago. “They’re so big!” I whine to Caleb. Sometimes, when the day could not possibly get aaaaaany longer, I imagine them all grown up, in their own lives. My breath catches–how I long to know the people they will be; how I long to keep them just as they are.

Those days, I’ll drink my hot coffee in peace. Those will be the days, my friends.

But so are these. So are these.

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