It’s 2:51 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. Macklin has been asleep for just over two hours, and I’ve just finished bleaching the bathtub and pre-treating his first set of clothes. He’s teething… again. But unlike the first round several months back, this time it’s the molars that are breaking through, and it’s borderline barbaric.
Imagine jagged fists of enamel not just punching you in the gums, but punching through your gums. For days, no less. That’s what’s happening to Mack, and for some mean Mother Nature reason it’s also wreaking havoc on his GI tract, turning his olfactory system into a snotty lazy river and cranking up his internal temperature just in the off chance he wasn’t already miserable enough.
As if that literal shitstorm weren’t burdensome enough, pile on top the fact that I kind of like it. Hear me out…
Sickly, but Cuddly
Since the day we brought Macklin home from the hospital, he’s made it clear that when it comes to cuddling, he’d rather change his own diaper (which I’d love to see). In many ways, it’s a blessing. He’s demonstrating his independence, asserting himself and freeing his mother and me from a nightly knock-down, drag-out bedtime battle. I don’t even like to tell people how easy it is to put him down for bed because they usually look at me with that unhidable judgy look of yeah, you must be doing something wrong,”Mr Stay-at-Home Dad”… poor kid.
Trust me, the kid is not poor. If anyone’s poor, it’s me. I’m cuddle poor, and sentence me to hell but I am LOVING the fact that he’s been insisting on being rocked to sleep these past couple of days. Yes, I know, he’s in pain. I get it. But guess what? He is not going to remember any of it. I, on the other hand, plan to hold on to these moments like a police dog holds on to a perp.
These Are the Days I’ll Miss
The irony of all of this is not lost on me. I remember growing up loving nothing more than snuggling off to sleep in my bed while my parents rubbed my back or my grandma used her soft fingers to gently paint imaginary curly Qs with my hair. I also remember growing older and embracing that same fierce independence I already see in my son. Stupid genes.
The problem is, I’m a nostalgiaholic. I already see myself 30 years from now, possibly as a grandpa, remembering these days I’m living right now as the glory days. The days when Macklin needed me and his mom. Desperately needed us. I know these days won’t last, and I suspect they’ll go by too quickly. So I’m soaking it up. I’m holding on extra tight. (I’m certainly not crying alone in the basement as I write this.) I’m indulging Macklin’s need of me while I can, and loving every minute of it.