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Tag Archives: nostalgia

Rock on, chair. Rock on!

“Oh my God, the room looks great!” I say, taking in my one year-old niece’s new room in their new house.

It is pink but not frilly. Simple, clean, tasteful. There’s a white crib, and some book shelves holding some worn and well loved books. A typical dresser with a changing table lines the wall.

As of today, there’s also a new pink flowered mini chair for her to sit on that I just bought as one of her birthday presents. But the thing that catches my attention, the thing that draws my eye is a slightly beat up rocker in the corner of the room. The cushion is a muted green and beige, somewhat out of place, yet fitting in quite nicely.

The chair and I go way back. Over 10 years ago, it sat in our city apartment.

I nursed my first baby in that chair. I slept in the chair. We slept in the chair. As time passed, we read together in the chair, favorites like A Time to Sleep and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

We moved to the suburbs and the chair moved with us. It got a new room and a new baby to hold.  We spent even more time together because this baby really needed the soothing of both mommy and chair, especially at 2am.

When my third son was born, he too enjoyed the bonding of mommy, baby and chair. He barely even noticed, his face squooshed to a boob, that often he would share his space with his brothers who loved nothing more than to climb all over mommy exactly when she sat down to nurse.

As the years passed and my babies grew, we used the chair less often, preferring to hear Go Dog Go and Are You My Mother? in their big boy beds.

The chair was moved to the den, where every once in a while, a little boy and I would sit just to cuddle and rock, cuddle and rock. But it wasn’t often. Usually it was just our cat curled up there, impersonating a throw pillow.

So when my sister-in-law mentioned she could use a rocking chair to nurse her baby girl, I only hesitated a little. She should have it. My sister-in-law and sweet-faced and deliciously rolly niece needed a safe, warm place to snuggle. A place to read and cuddle. I let it go willingly but achingly.

Looking at it now, I clearly see myself (a little younger, a little more sleep-deprived) and each one of my boys in that chair.   I could almost cry, but then I remember. My boys and I don’t need a chair for hugging. We’ve got our own arms.




I wonder if I’m even going to miss the vomit?

At 2:30am, I opened my eyes with a start. Boy who never sleeps and barely eats, aka my seven year-old, is standing next to my bed. I felt him there, heard his soft breathing. So even though I’m a little unnerved to see him, I’m not surprised.

His soft breathing has a rasp to it. “I don’t feel good.”

My first instinct is annoyance. Stellar parenting, I know, but it’s the middle of the night. I push the thought away. “Oh baby.” I say. His little face looks pained and then it gets that look. You know, the one that makes you immediately look around to see if you’re standing on carpet or near something valuable. I leap from the bed, and practically shove him from my room to the bathroom. We make it just over the threshold before he throws up.

Yes! I’m doing a mental fist pump, ridiculously relieved to have made it at least onto the tiled bathroom, where clean-up is markedly easier. Hmm. Should this not be my first thought? My second is not much better. I’m making a list in my head of the things I won’t be doing since I’ll have him home from school the next day. To redeem myself, I rub his back as he continues puking all over the floor.

I should have seen this coming, in fact, I did.

Earlier that day we were at video game center, or more accurately, the gambling learning center for 5-12 year-old’s. The object of every game is to win tickets. My kids foam at the mouth for tickets. No matter that we spent $30 for four army men, six tootsie rolls, a rubber frog that smells funny and a key chain. At least they’re learning something.

In the middle of the debauchery, my seven year-old son approached. “I want to go home.” He whined.

Uh oh. “Really? Why?”

“I just want to go home.”

I noticed his eyes were a little glassy, but I attributed that to the excitement from all the gambling. Then he sneezed and snot blew out his nose and hung in clean, oblong droplet to his lip.

“Tissue!” I screamed, running for my bag. “Tissue!” My capacity for denial runs deep, people. I saw the truth, but I wasn’t ready to accept it.  I told myself it was just a cold. We headed home, and not because of the stares of horrified gamers, but because we wanted to. So there.

I made breakfast for dinner and the boys had ice cream snowmen cups from Baskin Robbins for dessert. I didn’t take much notice that the boy who never sleeps and barely eats, didn’t eat much. Uh, nothing new there.

I snuggled them all into bed, spending extra time cuddling. I am acutely aware of the passage of time, and allow my sappiness to seep out at night, making me a pawn for their pleas of “Just one more minute!” or “I’m hungry.”

I know that each stage that passes brings me older, more mature children, less needy of their mommy’s attention. Little things change, like, my middle one only asks me to tickle his back for a few moments every few nights, instead of the rigorous tickle back routine I used to affectionately endure. My oldest no longer loves me coming to his sport games. All of a sudden, I make him nervous.

But my baby, my now five year-old baby, is still so full of mommy love that sometimes I’m pushing it away. Uh honey, can we triple hug and kiss again later? Mommy wants to work on an essay. Where is that DS?  I reflect with horror. I am actually taking some baby love for granted, when soon it will (poo poo poo) grow up and leave me cold. No more, I vow. We will hug day and night!

That’s when the vomit hits my foot and startles me back. I want to throw up too, but, instead, I get him some water, strip him down and wash him up. Then, I give him some Tylenol,tuck him back into bed, spending some extra time tickling.

With him settled, I get on my hands and knees and start the fabulously exciting activity of cleaning up. It’s after 3 am, I’ve still got to get all the towels and clothes into the laundry and clean myself up before I get into bed. We’re talking close to 4 am. Is this really something I’m going to miss?

Before I can even get my disgusting bundle down to the laundry, I hear his little voice call to me. “Mama…” I drop the towels and run to his room. Yeah, no question, I am.

(this is a re-enactment photo. no sick child was photographed for the making of this blog)

(This is a re-enactment photo. No sick child was photographed for the making of this blog. He’s good, right?)