Fall is for Nostalgia.

There’s something so freeing about chilly- and overcast- Fall weekends. They totally give you permission to do what you whine about wanting to do all week…nothing at all.

So we snuggled in. Ate junk food. Watched the ’80s version of Pippi Longstocking- for Nora. In case you’re curious, it completely stands the test of time. (Life is a breeeeeze…) We also watched a classic episode of Sesame Street- from the 4th season, once they’d ironed out most of the kinks of Snuffy not being invisible, Oscar not being orange, and Big Bird not having a shrunken head. That said- who is this man with the ‘fro they’re still trying to pass off as Gordon? And Luis was a stud! P.J. and I gleefully clapped along when our favorite animated shorts aired…while Nora, quite neglected, wandered into the laundry room to poke at unmatched socks.

Also. Ernie told Bert that he hated something in that episode. P.J. and I nearly jumped out of our skins, which poses the question- When did saying ‘hate’ become so darned taboo in children’s TV? Obviously sometime between the late ’70s and now. I honestly can’t remember, which means it was probably on the earlier end of things. Discuss.

We had a date night- another of the ‘no cash/no leaving the house’ variety. We made our favorite cold weather drink of Hot Todgers- think Hot Toddy, but with ginger beer. We invented them. Watched Before Sunrise- which also remained a good flick. At least the first half did. After that, Mr. Snorey VonI’mStillAwakePants was “thinking about the movie” behind heavy eyelids.

But it still counts as a date.

We only left the house once this weekend and had a stellar brunch at our pals’ Heather and John’s place. The event had three major things going for it: It was in Albany Park(!!!), the shindig was kid-friendly, and they are exceptional cooks. I filled a plate to share with Nora- and she ate most of it. (Sure, I’ll give you my pulled pork and goat cheese cornbread- but the Bloody Mary is Momma’s.)

But this past weekend wasn’t without its unnecessary display of hormonal tears, either.


I’ve slowly been weaning Nora onto bottles and sippy cups. And I’m totally fine with it. Absolutely. Except when I’m not.

The middle of the day feedings? Sure, give her a cup of formula. (Once I got over my initial feelings of neglect and abuse, I realized that not only was she not sad about the formula- but that she really, really liked it. A lot.)

But last night was the last evening nursing, leaving only the a.m. feedings for just a little while longer. So keep this in mind- this was the second to last feeding to be dropped. Nevertheless, as soon as she was done and started to doze off on P.J.’s shoulder…I lost it.

She was wearing footie pajamas that, mere weeks ago, flopped behind her like a cape when she crawled. Now they were snug. (And yeah, sure, they’re still 6-9 month jammies, but STILL.)

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that she was doing her little kitten snore in the bassinet next to the bed, waking at 2am for a feeding and having absolutely zero stuffed pals that traveled with her from locale to locale. What happened to that bundle that Peej would sleepily hand me? (Perhaps too bundled- between the hat, sleepsack, jammies and mittens, I could only see a small pair of irate, dark eyes staring up at me with a mix of hunger and baby rage.) And then I’d feed her and watch the tight little fists pressed against her cheeks relax. I’d see her eyes dart around in curiosity. I’d witness her valiant struggle to scoot around and do something to those bright lights and colorful shapes…and then fall back to sleep like a miniature drunken elf. I’d watch the rest of our late night programming, hand the wayward sprite back to her father, and then snuggle in until I got to hold her again.

And I already miss it. I never minded waking up with her. Sure, maybe the DuraMorph was extra Dura, but the euphoria of finally having her here trumped any petty ol’ need for sleep.

Our bedtime routine was my favorite part of the day. We’d get her all cozied up (less bundling was completely okay, as we quickly learned) and I’d feed her as P.J. would alternate between reading her favorite books and singing her favorite songs with an [intentional] voice that somehow mixed Tom Waits and Neil Diamond. (This is 1000% true.) And, smiling sleepily, she’d be placed in her crib amongst a small army of hand-selected animals.

And P.J. and I would high-five. (This is also totally true.)

So, as P.J. carried her off to her room last night, these were the thoughts careening into my brain. And I cried. A lot. (As my friends can attest, I do not possess the ability to cry a little.) And neither P.J. nor I can be sure why it is that I think The End of Nursing= The End of My Bedtime Routine with Nora. I mean, I still live here.

And I can totally give her a bottle at night. And be an extra pair of  hands for jammies and books and snuggles. But I’m rapidly losing the one ability that no one else in her universe can even begin to emulate.

Which kinda made me a superhero for a little while.

With a superpower that she’ll never even remember.

But we’ll always have the opening strains of The Office. She’ll hear it and laugh and become inexplicably hungry and that will be our little joke.

And it’ll be okay.



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