In my ongoing effort to reclaim my house from the clutter that has been awake at night, sneaking onto tabletops and into closets, giggling as it stuffs itself into my diaper bag and laundry room, I have finally–finally!–begun the attack on the very last pile of Crap With Which I Don’t Know What to Do. This stack of messiness includes everything from recipes I want to load onto my computer, thank you notes that were written but never sent, a list of songs I want to download (because, honey, I have gift cards to burn), and, yes, a check or two from Quinn’s birthday that I have yet to put into the bank (sorry, Aunt Mary. I’m on it tomorrow, I swear). It is the final frontier, people, my last hurdle to jump. And I will, I tell you, I will get to the other side. Even if that means finally scanning the ultrasounds I got to keep from the baby’s first photo op. And by baby, I mean, Saoirse, you know. I told you, this pile of papers can tell some stories.
So this afternoon, while Saoirse was still sleeping (huh? When does that happen?), I took Quinn down to the playroom, set her on the floor, and brought in the Crap Stack. I plopped down on the carpet and started sorting like my sanity depended on it. And a funny thing happened.
Quinn would play for a little, then crawl over, clamber onto my lap, and silently demand a hug. So, hug her I would, then I’d set her back down with her toys and get back to sorting. She’d play, then two minutes later, it’d happen again. She’d put down her blocks, crawl over to me, and climb over the piles until she was back on my lap again. I’d hug, talk with her, put her back down, repeat. Within two minutes, I’d have tiny knees and elbow digging their way back onto my legs. Finally, I silently cursed the evil pile of odds and ends (I swear it mocked me as I moved away from it) and sat down with the wee baby for a proper play.
My mighty Mighty is in what some would call the clingy stage. I call it the Spider Monkey Stage, or the Velcro Stage, or the Permanent Adhesive, Much Like KrazyGlue Stage. She wants momma, and she wants her within two feet of her at all times. When I cook dinner in the evenings, the child will crawl over to me, honest-to-goodness wrap both her legs and arms around one of my own legs, and alternately make out with my calf or stare up at me, whimpering, until I pick her up, give her some love, then set her down in the living room because the sauce has started to smoke in the pot and the alarm is one more hug away from blaring its terrible warning loud enough to freak out the dog. Often, I get frustrated at the constant demand for contact. I get impatient, because as all parents know, most of these meltdowns occur during those crucial transition times–attempting to get out of the door, or trying to get a meal on the table. That’s just how the daily routine rolls. And that’s why I like wine.
But today, as I was on my Final Mission to Achieve Cleanliness (I realize I’m capitalizing a LOT of words in this post today, but by golly that just shows the importance of this endeavor), and Quinn kept climbing into my lap, I didn’t get frustrated. Because we don’t usually spend time alone, she and I. And it was kind of nice to be able to give her some attention without anyone else (Saoirse, David) throwing a MatchBox car across the room for attention. So I let Quinn climb into my lap. I welcomed her sloppy kisses and head tilt thing she does when she tries to place her head on my shoulder. And I tried to memorize the feel of her little baby feet bracing themselves on my legs, and her tiny hands on my arms. Two minutes later, I looked at her expression as she tilted her face up to look at me again–it was a silent question, like, “Can I? I want to, please?”–and picked her up again for another round. Because this was too precious. She is too special.
And honestly, I didn’t really want to sort those papers today, anyway.