I don’t know about other kids but Otto has never been a cuddly monkey. He has always been the spider monkey type, wiggling and crazy and standing up and looking around. His fierce independence has always been not only charming but satisfying. Knowing that we have a strong and secure child who likes to do things on his own is a great feeling. We’ve never had him sleep in our bed and he’s never slept in our arms other than the few times the barf ferry has visited and he was up all night with the stomach flu and green bile flowing freely from his pie hole. On cross country flights he practices his operatic scales instead of sleeping, entertaining the entire plane and exhausting me beyond belief. He refuses to even shut his eyes for a moment. He is his own dude.
Last night, during one of my many bouts of insomnia, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with lists and chores floating in my brain. After trying unsuccessfully to fall back asleep, I came downstairs at 5:30 a.m. to try to get some sleep on the sofa so as not to continue twirling in bed like a pig on a spit and possibly waking up Dave. Around 6:30 I finally fell asleep, looking like a drunken sailor on a park bench. A few hours later, Otto came downstairs with Dave and ran over and climbed on top of me. Still half asleep, I hugged him tight, expecting to get up any moment and take over the Otto shift.
Much to my surprise and joy, he just lay on top of me stroking my left arms and nuzzling in my neck. I still had my earplugs in and my eye shades on. It was a sensory mind melt as I couldn’t see or hear anything, all the while I had this little urchin stuck to me. The minutes turned to longer minutes and soon, Otto was fast asleep, draped over me like an old, delicious smelling quilt. We had a 10:30 a.m. music class but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t move this lovely lump of coal for fear this would never happen again. This was the first official time I would let him play hooky.
I fell back asleep with him for at least and hour or so wanting this to last forever. Maybe we could crash together every morning and I could get that extra hour of sleep I needed instead of feeding him and having him throw sticky French toast at my forehead. This could be our new game. Watch the lazy bums nap right after they have woken up as if they were alcoholic college freshman who pride themselves on never attending a class before noon. I had seen this before.
At 10:45 a.m. he woke up with a sweaty face and rosy cheeks and looked at me like “Who are you and what are you doing here?” The look was all too familiar to me and was a look that I know a lot of girls will see in his future. I actually felt a bit sorry for all of the tramps to come. Poor things. He then got his bearings and smiled his huge, toothy smile and hugged me like I was his first girlfriend ever. It was the cutest thing he’s done since the day he was born and I am not afraid to admit that I loved every minute of it. The sweet, tiny breaths, the little adjustments he’d make to get more comfortable, the snoring, the knowledge that we were supposed to be somewhere but were blowing it off together. It was a great start to the day.
The following are the Cliff Notes of how the remainder of our day went.
While waking the dog with a small window before a doctor’s appointment, Otto slid in a pile of dog vomit on the sidewalk that consisted of whole chicken legs and partially digested leaks. I truly thought that some weirdo had performed witch doctor voodoo on our street. His shoes are still on the porch because I cannot bear to touch them for fear of reliving the experience.
I then stepped on a whole unpeeled orange directly in front of my house while wearing flip flops. What is that all about?
Otto tried to hug a biohazard trash receptacle in the exam room at the doctor’s office. Gross on every level.
Otto refused eat and then refused to nap and screamed bloody murder until I removed him from his crib and took him on a long ass walk, trying not to step in, said vomit, again.
I forgot to eat and realized on our way home that there was little to no food in the house and that Dave would be working late and not feeding us some gourmet spread of delightfulness.
This is when it got REALLY BAD.
I found some left over spaghetti sauce in the fridge and while I prepared Otto’s dinner and he quietly played by himself, I heated it up and there was just enough. Remember, I was starving at this point and hadn’t slept the night before (sympathy strings crescendo here). Everything was just about ready and the pasta was 30 seconds away from perfect when I smelled a poopy diaper in the living room and then dropped the pan of spaghetti sauce on my feet. It splattered all over the kitchen as if a heinous murder has just been perpetrated. Red sauce was everywhere the eye could see and I was trapped in the kitchen surrounded by an ocean of chunky tomato mess. I looked like a serial killer caught in the act knowing that C.S. I. would catch me if I didn’t clean with bleach and an alibi.
Otto then began to cry for his dinner and I had to clean a pathway through the kitchen to be able to get to him and put him in a clean diaper and in his high chair.
I ended up having sticky, lukewarm rotini with olive oil and Parmesan cheese while Otto ate a veggie burger and sautéed zucchini and then insisted I give him my dinner, which I did with hidden resentment and bitterness.
We began by eating in silence as tears collected in my eye sockets and then as the food he left me hit my stomach we discussed pumpkins and their various sizes and colors. Then he pooped again and we went upstairs and bathed, read a book and went to bed with hugs, kisses and much relief.
I know I will find a tomato sauce ball under the stove months from now and laugh about it. But until then, it just wasn’t that funny. I feel 90 years old and put through a blender and am off to bed. By the way, does anyone really care that Marcia Brady just wrote a memoir about being a coke whore and sex fiend? Just making sure.