|Two things: A. Fannie visited on my birthday; B. I've never looked momlier.|
It's hard to be annoyed, though. She keeps giving me these heart-clenching gummy gapes, like she's surprised and thrilled to see me. Like we haven't seen each other in years. "Ah! You, old friend!" So we practice some tricks and I keep an eye on the clock, afraid of what happens when her exhaustion overrides her pleasure at pretending to be able to stand up by herself.
Finally I throw a bunch of stuff into her diaper bag, plop her into her car seat and give the trick a-go. We've done this before, performing a specific highway loop for 45 minutes. It put her to sleep long enough to remember how sleeping is done.
Today I take the Scenic Highway toward Two Harbors and hear, aside from an early bout of hiccups, nary a peep. I turn the car around in an abandoned restaurant parking lot more than 20 miles out of town, assume I'll find her head has succumb to gravity, her chin covered in drool.
You've heard of Beady Eyes Shining in the Dark? This is Beady Eyes Shining in the Backseat of the Car.
"Nicely played," I tell her.
I've become a baby pusher. I want someone to have a baby, preferably yesterday, and for all of us to go camping at Jellystone National Park every summer from now until the kids wage a protest about how, at age 19, Cindy Bear is no longer the iconic female bear form.
It's lonely being this mom island in a sea of babyless beings. I mean, I've started talking to people at Target. It's my own personal meet market.
"When are you due?"
"How old is your baby?"
"Ask me something. Anything. GRACO. The answer is GRACO."
Nothing ever comes of it. Maybe these people have friends with babies. Maybe they think my eyes are just a little too wide and shiny.
Maybe I twitch or rub their shoulders too hard.
I'm zeroing in on Fannie, who visited for my birthday and brought bags of treats and presents. Maybe Fannie could have a baby yesterday.
Lets just say If I had access to baby batter and her toilet seat, she'd be a goner.
"Crikies, I'm leaking," I say to Chuck. We've taken a day trip to Bayfield and I'm hunkered over a fish sandwich. There are matching coaster sized wet marks on my flannel shirt.
"Just keep sloshing water on yourself," Chuck suggests. "No one will know the difference."
Does anyone know why every muscle in my body hurts?
This week she's learned to smile. Smile-smile. Real smile. A manipulative smile that she turns on at just the right time. For instance: She's fussy at the injustice of having her diaper changed. You finish the job, put her in her crib, wash your hands, return to see her tonsil-vibrating displeasure. Pick her up. Silence. Look into her little face: She's got a grin the size of an orange slice and your heart turns to oatmeal.