Babies Don’t Keep

Last night I fell asleep thinking about my singular goal for today:  figure out how to clean the house (at minimum I wanted to get done two bathrooms, the dusting, and mopping.  I really cannot vacuum with Levi here because he startles so badly, it breaks my heart).  I am not sure this is really a “singular goal,” but at five months, I still have not found a way to clean the house while home alone with baby, and I am still determined to do so.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

My strategy was to “practice” all three naps in the nursery, getting him into the crib.  My aim was to leave him there awake or not as long as he wasn’t crying while I cleaned the bathrooms.  I figured I could mop while wearing him.  And I would put him on the floor on a blanket while I dusted.  I continued to strategize this plan through night wakings and night feedings.  I hoped I would get enough sleep to have enough energy.

Nap #1:  He doesn’t fall asleep.  I put him in the crib.  He has a meltdown.

Nap #2:  He falls asleep.  I transfer him to the crib.  He stays asleep!  In excitement and disbelief I send Dawn pictures of the monitor.  We rejoice.  I clean the toilet.  I turn toward the shower, spray bottle aimed and….  He’s awake.  I leave him there while I finish cleaning the shower.

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?

I decide I will squeeze my foray to the grocery store in before his next nap.  Nap #3:  Dairy aisle, in the carrier.  I traverse the store carefully, heart melting into a puddle on the Price Chopper floor.

I arrive home and realize that the grocery store nap means I’ve missed one of my bathroom cleaning opportunities.  I guesstimate his next nap time will be around 4 or 4:30pm.

3pm he wants to nurse.  I don’t bother heading to the nursery, it’s not time for a nap.  He doesn’t seem tired.  We sit down on the couch — I have no water or snacks.  No boppy.  This will be brief.

Nap #4:


The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Author: Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

I truly want to take this poem to heart.  I do love it.  I remember my mother reciting it when I was young.  And I do know that it speaks the truth.  And yet, even as I had tears in my eyes while captioning this picture selfie, the poem didn’t really make me feel better about the state of household around me.  So for as long as he lay on me, I just didn’t look.  I read the poem to myself and closed my eyes and kissed the top of his head.  IMG_0425

And then as soon as I was able, I strapped him to back and started putting the house back into some semblance of order.

Since it is perfection I am chasing, I have decided it might be wise to start taking stock of what I have achieved in a day.  By doing so I might trick myself (or others) into believing that I am able to somehow “do it all.”

Today I:

  1. Cleaned one toilet and one shower
  2. Did the grocery shopping and unpacked the groceries
  3. Did baby and me yoga with Levi pulling my hair.  Hard.
  4. “Made” dinner (not sure frozen veggie burgers count, but I’m going with it).
  5. Cleaned three poopy cloth diapers.
  6. Wrote this blog post.
  7. Loved up my boy.

One thought on “Babies Don’t Keep

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