dishwasher v. boy

I’ve always been in love with Time, or at least I’ve perceived it as Love, but it’s Control: I own it, and it does what I want. Each second is a something that can be wasted, so Don’t. An hour is a hog and each minute must be used for something, given purpose, out of respect for the animal’s life. I see a half hour window and challenge myself to accomplish seven things inside of it, empty the dishwasher AND pay the bill AND mail the letter AND do the coffee AND read the article about the Thing. I’m on a very low stakes game show that no one is watching, and when the clock runs out and I’ve won, I go YAY, to no one, and advance to the next round. Having a baby is challenging ALL OF THIS. Joe has zero concept of Time, he’s completely free of it. But me: ten times a day I note a pocket of Time, and think to myself: I could empty the dishwasher. Now is the perfect Time. But each moment I step away from him I might miss one of his 47 faces, the list of which is growing each day, horror and bemusement and mild confusion, all of which, btw, are just him peeing, I miss noting the fact that his toes have grown a millimeter and that his feet really do look like Hands, and isn’t this one of the first things I noticed about his Dad, the first time we had our feet bare together? So I RUN to the dishwasher, I slap plates around, I get water everywhere, I drop forks and spoons, I yank nipples through bottle tops, and I RUN back to him, covered in dirt clean water, WHAT DID I MISS? He’s strapped into his chair, bouncing. Everything, he says. While I was emptying the dishwasher, he’s learned to speak. Here’s the thing about time, Mom. We’re all so in love with it. But it’s only when we ignore it that it loves us back.

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