It was my third outfit change before 10 a.m. This time I opted to throw on black athletic shorts and a faded pink t-shirt from a beach trip a few years back—before my husband and I had kids. Fighting back tears I decided I wasn't going to put on anything else nice today; I was utterly frustrated by the sour smell of spit-up on my clothes.
Now it was time to change my darling two month old's outfit. This was his fifth ensemble of the morning (the spit-up terrorized him more than me that day). I rummaged through his drawers, full of onesies and pants. I chose a dinosaur printed top and pants with a triceratops on his bum.
I loosened the opening on the top of the onesie to fit over his head. As I tugged his little arms into the sleeves and hoisted down the front and back to snap it, I noticed it was tight. His rolls were protruding from the sleeves.
I was dumbstruck and looked at his beautiful face—smiling and cooing at me—and decided this outfit must have been in the dryer too long or washed on the hot cycle one too many times. So I grabbed another outfit and ran through the process again. The same outcome. I decided to try a third shirt—little man outgrew that one, too.
I came to the realization that it wasn't my washer or dryer's fault at all.
Rather, amidst the day in and day out routine—nursing, diaper changing, reading, bathing, swaddling—my little boy was growing at lightning fast speed.
He's flourishing—his body and skills are increasing in leaps and bounds. I realized that morning, though, that lately I was too consumed with and frustrated by a little sour milk that I was becoming sour, too. I was wasting too much time wishing away these days that I didn't see how quickly they truly were passing.
I was thinking ahead to the day when I could get up, shower and wear the same outfit for (pause) the. whole. day. That seemed like a magical thought to me.
I was drifting to the day when I wouldn't be forced to do loads upon loads of unending laundry trying to eliminate that smell of spoiled milk from the air.
To when I wouldn't be dragging a bag the size of a small country everywhere I go with multiple outfit changes for both of us.
To a time when my schedule would not revolve around nursing, pumping and night feedings.
And amidst all of that hoping and longing, I realized something else: time was cruelly ticking on whether or not I chose to notice.
It took some snug, spit-up free (for now) outfits to open my eyes.
This stage is tough, but I vow to stop wasting my time wallowing in the negative aspects of it. I’m choosing to embrace these beautiful, milk-stained, messy moments in all their glory.
Because, before long, I’ll be showered and perfectly coiffed, but that milk he’s drinking will be from a cup. And those smiles and coos will have turned into eye rolls and words. So, for now, I’m going to drink up this mess, spit-up and all.
Instead of getting myself dolled up for the days we spend inside together, I’m going to temporarily ditch the designer duds and be content in oversized t-shirts; they’re much more comfortable for relaxing, cuddling and drinking up my baby’s sweetness anyway.
Rather than fretting about the mountains of laundry piling ceiling high, I’m going to learn to conquer it as I can, when I can. I don’t want to miss out on those snuggles and smiles—they are all too precious and fleeting.
I’ll continue to lug my carpet bag wherever baby and I go. After all, wardrobe changes can be fun—celebrities seem to enjoy them.
And I promise to you, baby, to savor these delicious, unpredictable days together.
You are changing, growing and learning as each minute passes. Your wiggling will soon turn into a roll, which will change into a crawl and then a walk. I’m blessed to be right here, right now, laying still and looking at you as your smile and laugh fill the room and my heart.
I won’t let anything—least of all some sour milk—spoil that anymore.