A few months ago, a veteran dad pulled me aside to pass on some advice. Oh, here we go, I thought. The “new mom” sign on my forehead must be lit up, just begging for some unsolicited advice. What I didn’t know was that he was actually about to give me the best advice I’ve gotten yet, and just in the knick of time.
“Make sure you enjoy the Golden Period,” he said. I liked the sound of that, so I allowed him to continue before I commenced my usual eye roll. He explained that the Golden Period is the stretch of time–be it days, weeks, or months–when the baby is sitting up independently, but not crawling yet. During this glorious time, you can set your baby down, drop some toys within arms reach, and–*gasp!*–step away for a minute. It is magical.
Our Golden Period started about a week after I got this advice, so I was able to take in every beautiful moment. I sat on the couch, ate lunch, put dishes away, answered text messages, went to the bathroom at my own damn free will. I LIVED MY BEST LIFE.
And then one day, just 6 short weeks later, it all came crashing down. That baby went full-on maniac and barreled through my cushy, pre-crawl life, shattering its precious, delicate pieces. No longer can I sit on the couch while he plays. Who would stop him from stabbing himself in the eye with the fork his daddy left out? Gone are the days of making and eating my own lunch before his nap time. Because who would save the cat from having his whiskers ripped out one by one? Never again will I be able to pee alone. Who would keep the monster from climbing inside the media cabinet and chewing on the wires? (These are just examples for illustrative purposes and most definitely did not happen in real life while I was in denial about the these changes because that would make me super negligent and would require you to call CPS, so please don’t do that because, I repeat, these are just examples of things that could’ve happened were I not such a stellar mother.)
Alas, the Golden Period is over, and everything is exhausting. Imagine mowing your lawn in the summer: it’s hot, and the lawn mower is heavy, and maybe you’d rather be eating an ice cream cone and you can’t wait to take a shower later, but hey, it isn’t so bad, and you’re so proud of how your lawn looks at the end of the afternoon that it’s all worth it. And then imagine that you’re mowing your lawn in a tornado. It’s still hot and the mower is still heavy, but now there is shit everywhere. You can’t see because your hair is whirling around your face and dust is flying in your eyes, but you know you can’t close them for even one second or you’re going to lose control of this lawn mower and all hell will break loose. And then you mow over a bag of popcorn and the kernels start popping and flying everywhere, and then the lawn mower breaks and you are shit outta luck because you still have to mow this lawn for 3 more hours before it goes to bed, and I think I’ve lost control of this metaphor but I guess that’s kind of the point. I’m going to be mowing the lawn in this tornado for approximately 17 more years.
But on the bright side, at least it’s a really cute and funny tornado now (or was he the lawn? I don’t know… I’ve never mowed a lawn or been in a tornado before, so let’s just move on and take a nap.).