Monday, July 20, 2009

Time Warps

I read somewhere recently that motherhood is like being a time traveler. I, being a sci-fi dork, totally see that. The time warps are endless.

Yes, time goes fast, but that's expected. The unexpected, what no one warns you about, are the sudden and shocking jumps from one sense of "normal" to the next.

To distract your from my too-long post, here are pictures of Maya wearing the Mexican peasant dress Grandma got her in Mexico to Don Pablo's, where she spontaneously erupted into dance when the Latin music got especially exciting. She is also sporting a hand made, newspaper hat crafted at the Children's museum. I hear whispers of future high school blackmail!

The first jump, of course, is the leap into parenthood. After months of focusing on baby room decor and Lamaze techniques, the birth process is just... just done.... and these people expect you to take care of this baby.

Your baby... because you are her parents. Wow!

No science fiction series can capture the surrealism in that, but every parent knows.

Even after that huge transition of becoming someone's parent, the fault lines in time haven't finished.

Sure, you may have grown from a sleep deprived, emotional automaton that takes 15 minutes to wiggle a diaper onto a shrieking newborn and another hour to calm her. You've grown into the sort of parent with four strategically placed diaper bags stocked against the inevitability of a blow out, allowing you to leave the house on short notice with some composure and a reasonable chance of enjoying yourself.

Then, when you have a firm hold on this baby thing, and you're finally able to relax with the newspaper, your baby suddenly toddles over with your coffee cup, dark liquid sloshing onto the white carpet, and says "here mama."

Eek, a toddler.... new rules.

And so it goes. A leap here, and your clingy toddler suddenly wants you out of the way so she can earnestly play with her playdate. A jump there and your little preschooler is about to have a sibling... gasp... back to the baby stage, this time with two!

The leaps catch me off guard every time. Star Trek's Scotty seems to have a bit of a devious streak in my world, and he beams my girls up a stage so quick that - blink - I barely have time to register the change before they're on to the next one.

I open my eyes and suddenly, Maya is one of the big kids, biking bravely ahead of me as I push Elliot through the park. By the time I catch up, Maya has her little red "gravel crusher" bike parked in the rack, helmet strung over one handle bar, and she's following a friend into the building where her morning camp will be held all week.

So we've jumped again. I have a big kid in my house! I couldn't be more proud... or disoriented...

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