Two years, two children, two moons
My two-year-old wakes from a nap on a holiday Monday and I climb into his crib with him just because I want to. I lie in the fetal position resting my head on his stuffed turtle, my belly big with baby number two, and he cackles and hurls his body down onto the mattress next to me. He knows this is a special thing. He tells me he knows by whispering mamamamamamamommymama, and then he smashes his face hard into my cheek.
At dinner the corn on the cob is hot. He wants to eat it, but it’s hot. We blow on it, but it’s still hot. This is taking too long, and he wants to eat it, but it’s hot. He releases a full-throated yell. He yells again and then screams with added shrillness and arches his body, visibly in pain, like someone is pressing the hot corn into his lower back. He continues to scream in short, fast bursts, then in one long, pained, piercing arc of sound. I can’t help but bring my hands to my ears as Will lifts him from his high chair to go look out the window. I once told another mom at the playground that I think my son’s screams are louder than other kids. She said no, all moms feel that way. Will gets an alert on his Apple Watch that the environmental noise around him is too high. “30 minutes at this level can cause temporary hearing loss,” the watch says.
My maternity leave is coming up in about a month, and I’d love your help navigating this time. To get this full essay, which holds a special place in my heart, along with a personal update during my 3-month leave, please upgrade your subscription. Thank you for being here.
“Spot on, refreshing, hits high and low notes, harmonious, inspiring.” — Bobbe Nunes