Now, I am a mom and although I'm living in the reality of raising a real life, living and breathing human, I still feel like I'm playing house sometimes. Like today, after giving Cruz his first, four ounce bottle, we played for awhile on the floor, I rocked him to sleep, we cuddled on the couch, and then I laid him in his crib. I quietly closed the door, then paced around the house, put on some Christmas music, and tip-toed in his room periodically to watch him sleep.
Or Saturday night, after a day of catching up with good friends, Beau and I stayed in, made a casserole, and watched movies, taking turns holding our spoiled one. We cheered for him during tummy time, and laughed at the way he sleeps with both arms by his ears (aka, moosehead). Then I swaddled, fed, and rocked Cruz to sleep and whispered, 'good night, dad,' as I walked by Beau on the way to Cruz's nursery. The new dad gave his new son a kiss on the forehead and as Cruz cozied up in his crib, Beau and I shared some quiet time just the two of us.
Don't get me wrong...parenthood is not always this way. Moments like this morning, as Cruz woke up instantly hungry, and I'm struggling to warm a bottle of breast milk, this time complete with one teaspoon of Karo Syrup in hopes of 'helping' Cruz learn the meaning of the book, 'Everyone Poops,' all while holding a hungry, screaming baby with one arm, trying my damnedest to keep his face out of the full sun streaming through the window over the sink, I would have put my baby doll, Hannah, away for awhile, and replaced her with a coloring book, a Polly Pocket, or a few Barbies. Hannah's poops were imaginary and I never worried about constipation...
Or Sunday, in the middle of church, attempting to acquire enough leg room in order to rock, bounce, pat, or do whatever was necessary to keep our little one content during a sermon that I maybe heard five minutes of. Feeding Cruz a bottle during communion, all the while passing trays of grape juice down the pew, again with one hand, hoping to not spill on the wonderfully dressed, single woman beside me. Laughing with Beau as we tried to conceal Cruz's very manly burps during the prayer. Hannah never talked, cried, or burped during church.
This morning, as I was feeding Cruz, I watched an episode of Saved by the Bell, the one where Mr. Belding's wife gives birth to their first baby in an elevator during an earthquake. I cried at the first sound of the baby cry. The first image of a baby being born since my baby boy was born was on none other than Saved by the Bell. And although the pushing, breathing, screaming, and nice and plump 'baby' on the tele was anything but realistic, it still brought back all kinds of realities of Cruz's birth day. Perhaps the line between real and make believe isn't as wide as I once thought.
Cruz has discovered that he really enjoys his tummy. He'll work and work and work at tummy time a few times during the day. Over and over again, he will lift his head up as high as he can and study the world around him with a look of complete focus and determination. When he's tired, he'll slowly lay his head on the blanket and rest before starting the next round. A few times, I've caught him falling asleep, but just when I'm about to move him, he'll lift his head up and start working those neck muscles again! I could watch him do this for hours!