Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's a Scream

This week has been full of unpacking and reorganizing in our new home. Most of all, though, this week has been full of playing. I love playing with Isaiah, and I absolutely prefer it to unpacking. Therefore, I spend much, much more time playing with him than doing actual housework. And I feel quite good about this decision. The number one thing I have heard from moms who have grown-up kids is that they wish they could have spent more time with them, or that the time I have with him now is "so fleeting." I've never actually heard a veteran mom tell me to spend less time with my baby and more time taking care of other things, especially other things like laundry. At the same time, to be honest, I still feel a pressure to have a perfect (or nearly perfect) looking home with organized cupboards and a tidy basement. I feel like some part of my worth as a mother and wife comes from having glistening kitchen counters and dust-free ledges. I'm not exactly sure why I feel this way, since Michael is always sweet and never makes me feel like a failure when I let parts of the house go. Isaiah, of course, never cares about the condition of the house at all as long as he's looked after and fed. I also happen to know tons of women in the same situation as me. Why do we feel that we have to be responsible for all of this? Why do we feel that it speaks of our value as moms and wives? Try as I might to just let it go, something in me feels guilty when I see a pile of dirty clothes. Then again, something bigger in me feels joy when I spend time with my husband and my baby boy.

We are really relishing this time before Michael has to report to a full time job. In many ways, it's a nice place to be in - after graduation and before the 9-5 workweek. Michael gets to spend more time with Isaiah than so many dads do. He gets to share in all his triumphs and joys and milestones. At the same time, I know that Michael wants a job as quickly as he can get one. Of course we both do, and at times we definitely feel the pressure of having no income, but it's such a blessing, too. I know that whenever Michael does go back to work, I'm going to miss him during the day.

Isaiah has now, truly found his little voice, and guess's not so little. He loves to scream and yell at the top of his lungs. It's not an angry or sad scream (most of the time,) it's a scream of pure exhilaration at having discovered that his own tiny body can produce such a loud noise. He screams when he sees someone he knows. He screams when he sees someone new. He screams when you smile at him. He screams when he wants your attention again. He screams when you're playing a game with him. He screams when he gets slightly tired of the game. He screams when he's really tired of the game. And he screams right before he begins to cry because by now he's really sick of the game. Did I mention that all these screams sound exactly the same. I know that somewhere in that sequence he went from excited and happy to tired and frustrated, but he's making the same sound for everything. By the time I figure out he's no longer having tons of fun, it's too late. Still, it's pretty cute to watch him when he happy screams.

Isaiah's favorite place to scream is in his Johnny Jump-up. Yes! We got him a Johnny Jump-up, and it's, apparently, fun enough to scream about. He can't really jump in it yet, but he can stand in it, and I guess that's enough for him. My guess is that he thinks he's standing on his own, which I'm pretty sure is his dream for now. He loves standing the way I love chocolate - he just can't get enough of it. To be honest, we could have just gotten him a Johnny Stand-up (Stanley Stand-up?) and he would have been just as thrilled, but we're hoping he figures out how to jump in it soon. According to Michael's parents, Michael love his Johnny Jump-up when he was a baby and I have seen pictures of him grinning in his old jump-up the way Isaiah grins in his. Like father, like son.

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