We have arranged it so that Kyle is home by dinner and bedtime every night. Kyle does 95% of Ruby’s bedtime routine so that she gets to spend some time with Daddy every day, even though he gets up and goes to work before she wakes up in the morning. Bedtime is pretty simple; brush teeth, diaper, jammies, book, prayer.

I married a funny guy. I knew this at the time, but it’s made bedtime into a really amusing experience. After Ruby decided that diaper changes and putting jammies on was a terrible idea and started crying through it, Kyle started making machine noises and telling her that she’s putting on her Iron Man suit every night instead of PJs. It’s been surprisingly effective.

Recently, my ears have been perking up to changes in some of the books. Ruby has a number of board books that we rotate through at bedtime. One night, I heard the words of There’s a Wocket in my Pocket being rapped, very quickly, at least twice through. Kyle has begun to insist that all Dr. Seuss books were originally intended to be rapped. Why else would they have such great rhythm?

We’ve got a series of books called Peep and the Big Wide World that explores concepts like through, far, and near. The other day I hear something like this. “Peep and his friends like to explore. Sometimes, they go far. Sometimes, they go too far.” I could only hear so much of the story, but I definitely heard lines like “What can Chirp see when she’s standing near her can? Chirp lives in a can because she made a series of increasingly poor life choices that left her unable to afford more than a can.

And there’s this cheesy book called Best Friends that has a bunch of pictures of cats and dogs with saccharine phrases about how great best friends are. Ruby went through a phase where this was her favorite book ever. She’d carry it all around the house, and 4 times out of 5 would pick it for bedtime. It got increasingly subversive as the days passed. “Best friends are always there for each other. Except when they abandon you for someone cooler.” “Best Friends always see things the same way, limiting your experience and world view and making you more boring, shallow and less tolerant.” “Best friends can come in threes, too! And you always know who is the third wheel in that relationship.

So when my kids grow up odd, you’ll know that it was come by honestly.

Things I Can Summon

It’s interesting being pregnant again. I remember the last time calling my mom one day, crying, telling her that nothing could be worth being this sick for. I was overworked, unhappy, unwell, and unconvinced that this had been a terribly good idea in the first place.

But the day that Ruby was born, in that hormonal high, I knew that it was all worth it. All the sickness, all the unhappiness, all the gross.

Because…because Baby. That’s the reason.

And now that I am sick again (although both happier and not over worked), I can remember that day of holding my tiny baby in my arms and remembering that it’s worth it. I can’t summon up those feelings again (much the way I couldn’t really remember how it felt to be sick after it was all over), but I remember having them. I remember the intensity and and the beauty of those feelings, and so I look forward to feeling them again and remembering that even though things are challenging now, that what comes at the end is beautiful and wonderful and, yes, worth it.