Friday, April 22, 2011

BC (Before child)

I love Norah so much, it's bordering on psychosis. But you can't help but grieve a little for certain parts of your life BC (before child).

5. Food.

I eat healthier now. More balanced meals, cooked at home. We have regularly scheduled meal times. This is good.

But I also miss eating lunch at 3 pm, and not giving a rip if I was hungry at dinner time or not. I miss eating ice cream or popcorn for dinner once in a while. I miss going out to dinner at restaurants without inevitably apologizing to someone or groups of people. I miss not worrying about whether or not someone will eat what I've made, or if they'll make a face and say, "Yuck!" I miss not having to clean food off of everything after a meal.

4. Grooming.

Yes, I still keep excellent fairly good personal hygiene. But I used to take decadently long, hot showers. Slather on lotion. Blow dry my hair. Wear clothes other than jeans and a hoodie occasionally. Paint my nails. Spritz on something that smells pretty.

Now a shower is kind of a pain in the ass. An annoyance, not a pampering session. In and out. Hair stays wet. Glasses on. Uniform of hoodie and jeans on. Nails bare. Now my fragrance only gets as fancy as when Secret deodorant comes out with a jazzy new scent, like "Truth or Pear."

3. Leaving the house.

And, yes, we leave the house. I get dressed, I attempt to get Norah dressed, she runs around giggling, sometimes crying, and dodging my lunges as I hold her coat open for her arms to go in. We find shoes that match. We make sure we have diapers, wipes, cell, and depending on the length of time out, possibly a back-up outfit, a bib, and a backpack with good portable toys in it. I corral Norah to the car, when she tries to veer off to run in the yard or chase a squirrel, strap her into her car seat, and then eventually sit at the wheel and drive away. This is all after we plan what time we can leave the house so that we do not interrupt any meal time or nap time or bed time.

BC? Grab coat, keys, bag, leave. Any time. Any place. No notice necessary. See you later.

2. Sleep.

Oh, sweet, sweet sleep. I don't think I can even write about this without tearing up. I would sleep in embarrassingly late on weekends, and take a nap after eating breakfast. I would stay up late without worrying about having to get up at 6. I would nap after work sometimes, if I had a bad day. I'd sleep throughout the night, every night.

I wouldn't wake up at every tiny little creak or squeak, and just lie there for minutes, eyes wide open, trying to identify said creak or squeak, whether or not it was a little person, or the house, or something outside. Or something outside trying to get inside. Or a rabid bat flying around the nursery. Or Norah getting out of her crib and juggling knives I left out in her reach accidentally. (Yeah. Sleepy Heather is a little unreasonable.)

1. Time.

I debated what would top the list: Sleep or Time. But, honestly, you get used to the sleep thing. It still sucks occasionally, but when you grumble about being up at 6 and you are dead set on being grumbly about it, and then you see your baby's beaming face upon your entry of their room, it's all good.

Time. The worst part of this is that I had no idea. I had no flipping clue how much time I wasted. I didn't think twice about spending an entire Sunday watching a shitty Real World marathon. An entire day! Maybe Saturday and Sunday, if there was an 100 Greatest Pop Stars marathon, too. And what the fuck did I care who was the 62nd greatest pop star, according to VH1? (Genesis sucks!)

Now, every free moment is carefully considered. Should I clean? Blog? Nap? Write? Call people? Pay bills? Go grocery shopping? Boredom is a thing of the past. There is always, always something to do, and it's not usually something fun. Fun is for Norah-is-awake time. Norah-is-sleeping time is all business. We will once in a while watch a TV show on Netflix. (Thank you, Netflix, for thinking of parents who still want to watch their shows once in a while. Now get more seasons of Dexter streaming!)

Had I known, had I even the faintest idea, I like to think I would have changed. I could have a PhD. I could have written a dozen novels. I could have had the cleanest house in town. I'd be up on all my communication. I'd be a kickass golfer, or some other hobby that takes time to hone. Who knows, I could be a world-famous clogger or horseshoe thrower. I had no idea what kind of time I had.

Oh, well. They say busy people are most productive! I'd better use the rest of my lunch period for doing dishes.


  1. You looked hot when we went to the play a few weeks ago. Plus--you better be looking good at happy hour tonight. :)