This is what it’s like:
At 6 a.m., Steve wakes me up. “Sebastian’s downstairs with breakfast,” he says. He kisses me then takes the baby downstairs to change him. I clumsily get dressed and join them.
Sebastian turns from his cartoons and says cheerfully, “Hi Mommy!” as I pick up the baby and see if he wants to eat. He doesn’t, so I put him on the floor with some toys and hastily eat some mini-wheats. Steve kisses us goodbye and leaves for work.
“Mommy, I want some square cereal,” Sebastian says when he sees me eating. “Buddy, you had some yogurt.” “I want square cereal too!” So I pour him some Quaker Oat Squares. He eats a couple of spoonfuls.
I make a cup of coffee in the Keurig and we all go into the living room where I put the baby in the jumper. If I’m lucky, he’ll hang out there for an hour or so while I play with Sebastian.
“Mommy, you play trains with me?” Sure. “Mommy, you play letters with me?” OK. “Mommy, give me your phone please.” Hmm. That means I get a minute to check Facebook while he is molesting his retinas with the iPhone screen. I feign reluctance: “Well, OK. Here you go, baby.”
I make another cup of coffee. Henry gets tired of jumping. I feed him and put him on the carpet, happy we got a Dyson. (There are fewer palpable chunks of debris now.) Within minutes, he is 10 feet from where I set him down, though I never see him actually moving. Babies: Capable of self-teleportation?
Sebastian sees me paying attention to Henry and springs into action. “Mommy, you do puzzle with me?” No problem. “Mommy, I want graham crackers.” Yep. “Mommy, dance with me!” Hee hee, OK! “Mommy, where my iPad?”
Yeah, it’s not his iPad. But I give it to him so I can rake my eyeballs over my email and Facebook. Then I make a cup of coffee.
Around 10, I go upstairs to get Sebastian’s clothes. His eyes widen when he sees them.
“No Mommy, I want to wear nighttime clothes.”
Wearily: “No pal. You have to wear daytime clothes.”
A brief tussle ends with him dressed and me slightly wild-eyed. I regroup; time is running out.
“Sebastian, you want some lunch?”
“No lunch,” he says, watching a Snail Bob walkthrough on YouTube.
“Are you sure? Yummy cheese and crackers?”
“No lunch!” he says, his pupils fixed to the screen.
I start to feel like a terrible mom. My son eats 4 calories per day and gets too much pediatrician-decried “screen time.” Woe, woe! I begin to feel anxious and upset. Then I remember the third cup of coffee. Oops.
Sebastian climbs into my lap with the iPad. “Hug me, Mommy!” he commands. I put my arms around him and hold tight. The pressure comforts him and he relaxes into me. We sit there together and I lean forward a bit and breathe in the smell of his hair. It makes me drunk with mommy-love and I can feel a goofy smile form on my face. Henry slaps a toy on the floor and screams happily. I am so happy. I’ve never been happier.
Soon enough, we hear the rumble of the school bus at the end of the street.