Ode to Routine

Greetings, Earthlings.

We're developing a routine, the lady and I. Would you like to hear a slice of it?

Though she wakes up at various earlier points, she's generally ready to join the world around eight, and she cries to say so, and I creep into her bedroom and peer over the side of her crib, where she's flopping around like a green fish in her green swaddle. And at some point in her flopping and wailing she'll see me standing there, and she'll stop, and she'll look up at me and grin and flex her legs in joy--the full-body smile, my dad calls it. Obviously this is the most significant world event of the morning, this smile.

I scoop her up and feed her and change her and pick out her outfit--another favorite task--and bring her down to the kitchen. She kicks and talks to me (so to speak) from her throne--a baby seat I put up on the kitchen island--and I tell her about the day ahead, talking her through the ingredients of my green smoothie and details of my toast-making, and then she sits with me while I eat it. As I near the end of my green smoothie, she lets me know it has all grown rather tedious, and she would please like her blanket and her pacifier, and a nap. I put her in her swing with the essential nap accessories and she drifts off.

I scurry while she's asleep, taking a bath, starting the laundry, loading the dishwasher gingerly, scolding Sam for laughing at the television and putting her nap in peril. And we do this all day, this spin around the wheel of her infant existence--sleep, eat, play, sleep, eatplaysleep, with diaper changes interspersed. Sam and I frequently call one another in from the other room to witness her adorableness, or her remarkably firm grip on her rattle, or her effortless (yet disconcerting!) turn from her back to her tummy. And in the afternoon I put her in her warmest little suit and we head outdoors. I listen to a podcast with one ear, and stare down at her as we take laps around the block. The podcasts are my lifeline to the outside world, and they make me laugh out loud, and I hear my laugh echo off the houses, and I know I am happy.

Late in the afternoon, Sam watches her while I put dinner on the table,and the entire time I marvel at myself: "I am getting dinner on the table!" I say in my head. And while there's another part of my head, a part that's sort of baffled and a little sad that I'm not putting on my jewelry and my grown-up shoes and going to work, that's a discussion for another post (or several other posts--I have a lot to say).

And this particular post is an ode to a mundane routine, a routine that hasn't gotten old yet, a routine that has somehow made everything click into place for me and brought me more joy than I expected. Someday soon I'll be weaving freelance work and more me-time into my days, and I'm slowly beginning to now. But the truth is that everything feels significant and sweet still, and I narrowly resist taking a picture at each and every one of these routine moments.

You'll have to forgive me my exuberance. I am in love.


Emily said…
Hooray for routines! They make life w/ baby so much more enjoyable. Just stay flexible for when it changes--cuz it will! But then you'll find a new groove.
Rachel Goldberg said…
So sweet, Deja. I remember that little fish flop of the swaddled infant who wants out! The grown-up shoes and jewelry will still be there when you are ready for them again, whenever that time comes.
Deja said…
I think it sort of changes incrementally every day, right? But it's nice to sort of know what's next. I can't imagine doing this with three babies!
Deja said…
Thanks, Rachel! It's good to be reminded I haven't put them away forever.
Amara said…
fabulous! This is what I was talking about! So funny that the act of a walk, a put together meal can feel like "one giant leap for mankind". Just savor it.
belann said…
So very thankful that you are able to experience this sweet joy of motherhood. You described it well. As Amara said, savor it.

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