Friday, March 09, 2007

Le Spa des In-Laws

Some people might not understand why I would choose to drive two hours to stay with my in-laws without my husband even being here. These people do not know my in-laws, nor have they ever spent a full week home alone, in winter, with a 2-year-old and an infant.

My in-laws house is like a spa. They serve you meals and run out to the store at a moment's notice if you look in the direction of the bacon and there's less than a pound left on the plate. They have fast Internet connectivity and a computer chair that reclines in such a way that a baby can sleep on your chest while you type with both hands. They babysit for free. They hold the baby while you shower and brush your teeth, and even while you sit there and drink wine and watch "Grey's Anatomy."

They even bought a brand-new top-of-the-line Pack N Play with a raised diaper changing table and a great little diaper caddy attached, as a surprise.

I may never go home. Home has a bulldozer and a gaping hole. At home I have to do my own laundry and it's two outdoor flights down.

So with all this free time suddenly on my hands, I wanted to give Nutmeg some props for all the independence she's been developing since her sister was born:

- With step-by-step coaching, Nutmeg can nearly dress herself. She can get on underpants and pants, and she even got a Tshirt onto herself yesterday without my physical help.

- On my first morning with Epu out of town, Nutmeg woke up just as I was getting Fil back to sleep from her 5 a.m. wakeup. Normally this is when Epu would take over, and since I have been getting only about 5 hours of sleep a night, I just couldn't get up at 6:30. So I told Nutmeg to go to the kitchen and find herself a snack, and I went back to sleep. When she came back in at 7:45, I grabbed the remote and managed to turn on PBS before falling unconscious again. Fortunately, "Arthur" was on. When the show ended just after 8, I asked Nutmeg if she wanted breakfast now, and she casually told me, "I already had a pear and some Goldfish." Sure enough, the core of the pear was sitting there on her little table along with an empty single-serve Goldfish package. The possibilities of this new self-sufficience are intoxicating*. Vegas, here we come!

- We returned to our regularly scheduled activities this week. At playtime at a local public school, Fil started crying in the car seat while I was across the room getting our coats. Nutmeg calmly grabbed the handle of the seat and rocked the baby until she fell back asleep. Bravo! Again, Vegas beckons.

- She's been playing with toys on her own and even sitting quietly and looking through books alone.

Of course, there are also the things Nutmeg does for herself that I DON'T want her to attempt, like going into the fridge and pouring her own milk, water, or juice, which ends up with minor kitchen floods every time. And I fear that she'll help herself to something dangerous, like deciding to draw her own bath in the middle of the night or while I'm distracted by this blog. But, that's what growing up is all about, no? My job is mainly to keep her alive while she does it. Or my rottweiler's job, should I choose to outsource it.

* Although it does remind me a little too much of this disturbing article. I guess I should be glad that if I die next time Epu goes out of town, at least one of my progeny might survive.


Notta Wallflower said...

Boy, that takes me back. I was never so happy when K started learning to do things for himself. He was a little older than Nut and I didn't have a little one to worry about also, but it's still this idea that they won't always be dependent on you. Kind of nice, but kind of scary.

ioio said...

a whole new look and name!

you're so lucky to have such a great extended family...and such a brilliant nutmeg.

goldfish and a pear.
goldfish and a pear?
sheesh. she's already got it figured out.
better than my scone for breakfast today.