1. First of all, Herr Heribert Bauer, father of the "Federknopf-Verschluss”, I summon thee! For thou art the inventor of the snaps that are the things of nightmares. I understand that you patented them for men’s trousers and yes, you did not have a say when someone decided to stick 459 of them on a footed sleeper for a baby, and yes, you have plausible deniability because you were possibly already dead, but really. I need you to know that you are in my nightmares, with snaps that never line up, and a child that screams bloody murder, and though I googled for an hour I have not been able to find who was the first to put snaps on footed sleepers, so I’m going to place the blame on you.
2. As such, summer is hot and Tolly mostly wears diapers.
3. Travelling with baby is possible, and even enjoyable. We took two major trips with Tolly – one to Taos, one to Colorado with my parents. Baby hiked, chilled by a lake, looked at earthship buildings, babbled at hippies and enjoyed Russian art at the Fechin museum. He also discovered horses, and was not sure what one must think of them. I am looking forward to a zoo trip and elephants, one day.
4. Packing for those trips did make it seem like we were going to replicate Amundsen’s South Pole expedition rather than going for a leisurely weekend, but the prospect of baby getting bored in the car seat halfway there almost made me drag the entire house with us for entertainment. At least we didn’t bring the cat.
5. Going back to work brought mixed feelings and a desire to clone oneself. On one hand, I really do love my job. I don’t think I’m meant to be a stay at home mom. However, there’s the issue of a significant reduction in brain power, which is worrying, since I’m pretty sure all my brain cells have been converted into milk, and yet I teach an AP class next year. Also, I have a strange new sympathy for the dairy cow.
6. I also am a little bit furious at my past self. She had so much time! So MUCH TIME. She could eat it. Could roll in it like a cat in dry soil. Could lay there, on the floor, for HOURS if she chose to. What was she complaining about, when she said she was busy? Oh Bartleby, oh humanity. She did not know. (I am pretty sure once Tolly is a toddler (say that 10 times fast) I will be writing a similar missive to my present self. I wish you all time, time, time.)
7. If I had a Time Turner I would value it so much, now. Just in case the Ministry of Magic is reading – I turn 30 this year, just so you know. Since you dropped the ball on sending to Hogwarts and everything. Least you could do, really.
8. It is a strange and tender feeling, watching your own father with your kid. Tolly took to him immediately, and the way he fell asleep, drooling copiously on my dad’s shift, stirred some memories-that-are-not-memories in me, some warm, safe spot where the baby me is, who was also held, just like this, and walked, for hours (I was much worse at sleeping than Tolly). It’s surreal, the circular nature of things.
9. Of course, I am also still in the stage of parenting where I CHALLENGE MY UPBRINGING and examining all the truths I know as self-evident, and trying to intuit things I don’t know as self-evident, but feel they might be right---
10. And of course, realizing, that we are all miraculously flawed, that nobody ever gets it right, that there will always be something to go to therapy for, but I can hope that my son feels safe with me, and that I don’t mess too much with the joy that is underneath everything.