An early bed time was in order for the day. Mom was on the phone with insurance companies, mortgage companies, trying to figure out this language of escrow, so much so that her head hurt and she maybe dished up a few sassy comments to a customer service representative, who was less than gracious. Mom learned, after talking to grandpa in California that insurance rates in New Orleans are of the highest in the country, due mainly to that saucy minx named Katrina. All the well known insurance companies think dating New Orleans would be too risky, fearful that the city's crazy ex girlfriend, Katrina may return, with a vengeance. That's how insurance makes sense to Mom after hours of grandpa spelling it out in laymen's terms.
While on the phone, Mom thought all her cherubs were sleeping sweetly for their regularly scheduled nap time, but just as an operator connected her to a living person (for Mom does NOT like automated, not one bit) the little tiny awoke very upset. Mom thought this was a brief startle that would result in the commencment of more sleep, but this was not the case. So Mom carried on with the rep, with a crying 4month old in the background, so tensions were high. It took very little for Mom to get upset. Mom even said to the lady, "Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot." A manager from the company is calling Mom on Monday.
Mom raced to the back of the house to get the baby, and she was upset that her call was not productive and that her baby wasn't sleeping. She approached the baby and was soon standing directly above. And the baby knew what the Mom needed; a squeal of delight and a smile that could solve world peace, and the Mom felt good. Tired, a tad stressed, but good.
And so, that night around 7:30 when all the children were asleep, Mom decided to sort through the bin of clothes that reside near the baby's "room" (also known as a pacnplay, a changing pad on Mom's dresser, and an old bookshelf with stacks of clothes, blankets, and diapers in the corner of Mom and Dads room.) She did her nightly chores; preparing the house for another day. Making bottles for the baby, placing yogurt cups at low reach for the 3 year old in the fridge, filling Nalgenes for Dad and sippy cups for the kids, setting the coffee so that 6 cups would be ready fresh at 6am, and wiping down all the counter tops. She bent over to pick up various Little People that were scattered about the house, laid face down on the ground to retrieve the books that made their way under the couch, and racked her brains putting together puzzles that were spilling out of the cabinet. Once the clutter was gone, Mom looked around and took a deep breath.
Mom really wanted some chocolate chip cookies that night, but she gave up sugar for lent, so she brewed some tea. She heated the water on the stove, not the microwave because when everything you do in a day is rushed, it's nice to have to wait, to pause. As the water was getting hot, Mom organized the 3 year old's coloring corner and was amazed to see that there were stacks of little drawings she had made, all of the family. Little stick figures of babies and parents in varied colors. All with long arms connecting them together, always. Mom felt pleased with her daughter's view of her family.
The tea was ready, and Parenthood was on the TV so Mom opened the bins of clothes, sat on the ground and started to sort. She took out the things that were never worn by any of the girls during their newborn stage and put them in a bag to give away. She then made a pile of everything sized 0-3 months, because her little tiny one has already grown out of them. She then sorted sleepers and onesies. She then started to cry, as one does when they fold clothes.
Mom found the light pink onesie that a dear friend embroidered for the oldest daughter. One that was so special because it was one of the first baby gifts the Mom ever received. Mom was taken back to when her now 3 year old wore it, and remembers how hard that newborn stage was for the new Mom, and how she remembers feeling overwhelmed and clueless. She remembers her daughter wearing it and screaming her head off in her arms. Mom then found another tiny onesie, from the first time her baby fell asleep on her chest, which was a rare thing for the oldest one. She remembers how she felt when that happened, when she found twenty minutes of calm with her baby, when she wasn't fearful of making a mistake because the baby was happily sleeping to the sound of her heartbeat.
Mom held these two onesies to her heart, and smelled them hoping to find that newborn smell somewhere in the fibers of the cotton, but alas, they were no longer. She held them out in front of her amazed that her 40 pound 3 year old fit into such a tiny piece of clothing. She folded them, and set them aside.
Mom then unfolded an even tinier onesie, one that fit the second daughter's much smaller newborn body than the oldest. A simple white onesie that Mom painted for her baby. It reads, "It IS a WONDERFUL Life" and her heart raced back to when she first dressed her week old baby in it. She remembers how snugly her second baby was, and how she would nap in the Moms lap after she nursed. And then the older sister would always be near, touching her sister's toes. This second daughter was a very good baby to Mom. She ate, slept and rarely cried. She was a tiny little baby and wore her newborn clothes longer than her sister did. When Mom found this onesie, she has to remind herself that her feisty, terrible-twos toddler was once a helpless little babe and that she grew up far too quickly for the Mom's liking, and that Mom should be more patient with her middle one.
And just now being added to the bin of cotton memories are the onesies Mom made for current baby. She made a stencil of Louisiana paying homage to their state, and she remembers what happened only 4 months ago- the first time she nursed the baby when her milk came in and the baby was full. It was a huge moment for the mom, as nursing is quite the struggle for her. She also remembered when Dad laid on the floor next to baby and baby stared at him for the longest time. This onesie won't even snap closed on her baby now, which made her so sad that she too, was growing up so fast.
And so the Mom folded each onesie and put them with the others and packed them away for hopefully another day, far from today, when another baby will join the family.
The Mom felt overwhelmed with the stress of the day, exhausted from interrupted sleep, and wondered the last time she wore make up, but she was extremely happy. These onesies marked a rite of passage for her. She brought home three babies and somehow managed to keep them safe and healthy. How, she's not entirely clear. But grateful she remains. While Thursday nights are often spent out, doing fun things, living. This Mom is having the time of her life, folding onesies.