Sunday, October 11, 2009
RIP Rest In Peace
Usually when my kids hit their milestones there's fanfare and parades, facebook postings and phone calls to family, declaring the spectacular news:
"Red Baron used the potty!"
"Little Man just rolled over!"
"Red Baron stopped biting other children!"
"Little Man finally got hair!"
We just passed another milestone, but not the "national-moment-of-silence" kind. No, this isn't a really celebratory milestone. It's the kind that actually makes my quality of life drastically plummet. I approach this milestone with the weight of a person burying a loved one. Yes, it is this day I officially say good bye to my dear friend, the Red Baron's Afternoon Nap (let's call it "Reban").
I have had hard time letting go of this friend. In fact, Reban left several weeks ago. But I've been in denial. Reban needed to get some air and hasn't been back since.
At first, I wasn't alarmed. Reban probably just lost track of time, I thought.
That Reban! I'm sure Reban got distracted in the magazine rack at Safeway. She'll be waltzing through that door any moment now full of apologies, I continued.
But nothing happened. No phone calls, no emails. The silence of the space that Reban left in my home was filled with the screams of over-exhausted toddlers.
That's when I got scared. Phone calls to the pediatricians office and enquiries to the mommy websites didn't turn up any helpful leads. What if Reban was pinned in a ditch, isolated and obscured from the search parties a few meager feet away? No, I had to keep searching; I was Reban's only hope (or rather, Reban was my only hope). So I waited. And waited some more. But nothing. It was like that time I got stood up by a date, minus the hair spray and lipstick. Empty waiting and ticking of clocks. Except I knew Reban would never stand me up. No, Reban and I knew each other. Reban was the one who saved me from sure institutionalization and mental evaluations. No, Reban wouldn't leave me hanging. Not during toddlerhood. Not MY Reban.
After some time passed many said "Reban is gone, it's time to stop waiting and move on with your life. Go to the zoo or something." But I refused. I refused to believe that this thing of beauty, these moments of solitary tranquility and mental breathing were all just the charade of some one-sided relationship. That I didn't mean as much to Reban as Reban meant to me. But that was precisely the situation. And it hurt.
It was during these throws of desperation when I heard a knock at the door. Jilted, I answered it and in walked Parental Guided Quiet Time ("PGQT" doesn't work, so let's call it "Parry"). Parry entered, with a sippy cup full of milk and a bag full of library books and single-handedly filled the gap that was left by Reban. The baby gate closed behind Parry and with these tools of distraction, I was released from duty and alarming quiet blanketed my precious afternoon. And just like that, tranquility was restored once more.
Don't get me wrong, I still miss Reban. But the time has come to say good bye. So good bye dear friend. You're in a better place now. LONG LIVE PARRY (please)!
Red Baron (7 mos.), Monk the Monkey and Reban during happier times.