Whenever you welcome a new life into this world, people [women, really] offer congratulations coupled with the slightly useless caveat: ‘enjoy this time, they grow up so fast.’
This comment has always annoyed me (along with experienced parents’ advice to parents-to-be to ‘sleep now, while you still can’) and I was more than a little bit pleased when the professor showed me an article on the ‘web’ the other day, listing the ten ‘most irritating, least helpful’ parenting tips.
Enjoy this time, they grow up so fast: #4
The time with these little people does go incredibly fast. Weeks fly by in the blink of an eye. A baby is born, and two minutes later, he’s three. Two very long minutes later. Because the weeks may fly by, but the minutes sometimes drag on for an eternity.
Young Percy’s going through some snot-or-teeth-induced phase that’s causing him to wake up more times in the night than is reasonable for a child of his age. Wednesday night, after getting out of bed for the third time, I decided to take a different approach. Perhaps, if I put him in our bed, he’d sleep for a while? Or at least I wouldn’t have to keep getting up?
I tucked him in beside me. He turned over onto his stomach, readying himself for sleep. ‘Genius,’ I thought to myself, ‘even if I am setting a bad precedent here.’
And…three seconds later he’d flipped over onto his back and was staring at me. Wide awake. ‘Come on,’ I silently begged him, ‘two sleep-starved nights in a row?’
He reached over to touch my face – as though he could read my mind – but instead of patting me gently, he grabbed my nose between his thumb and digits and squeezed. Hard. Long. I was stunned; feeling like I was about to drown. It seemed like a scene from a Lifetime movie about elder abuse in nursing homes. He the cruel nurse, I the trusting patient.
Luckily I remembered I could still open my mouth. And breathe. But it was touch and go for a nanosecond. He followed the nose squeeze with some face slapping and grabbing fistfuls of my hair while yanking with such ferocity, I had flashbacks to the post-girl-fight clumps of hair littering the hallways during my days as a Muncie Central High School student.
Finally, at 2.43am, I gave up. Deposited him back in his crib. And skulked downstairs to my woman-cave so the professor would have to deal with the aftermath.
Sometimes you need the minutes to fly by. Not the years, just the minutes.