“Life is special. Enjoy it one step at a time.”
After this long drawn out draining day, deprived of any personal space, I know exactly what I need. I listen, cringing as I hear N crying for the n'teenth time today. This time though, it’s not because I’ve set her down to make my mad dash to the bathroom to relieve my poor abused bladder. It’s also not because I attempted to deliver her to her crib for a much needed nap. I mean, how dare I peel this beautiful sleeping babe from my breast that has become her makeshift pacifier today to put her in her own space? No, this time, her crying is because her daddy took her from mama once he came home from work to change her diaper and give Mama a quick two minute break. This momentary break has come to be treasured, especially on days like this where it’s more akin to a mini vacation. I hear the decibels of her voice increase as her crying gets more dramatic, the moment I know he sets her down for the dreaded diaper change. “Breathe,” I remind myself, “you’re on break”. I finally close my eyes and exhale much of the weight and edginess out of me. I feel better, I do, but...there’s still a part of me I can feel vibrating with annoyance. I know it’s time for the big guns. I decide it’s the only reasonable thing to do in this dire moment.
I walk to the pantry, pause and listen for their distant conversation and interaction. I hear it and it is distant. I open the doors and instantly spot the canister with the white lid. I immediately feel the underside of my tongue begin to salivate. I snatch it up and without delay open the silverware drawer to retrieve a spoon for the occasion. Oh my, there’s options! Little spoon or big spoon? After mulling it over for what seems like too long, I decide that when you are on vacation, you enjoy it to the fullest. Big spoon it is. I love everything about what’s about to happen here, down to the shape of the container, so perfect for my hand to hold and the turn and a half it takes to remove the cap and release the sweet aroma of chocolatey nutty goodness. I dive the spoon to the center of the smooth concoction and dig about halfway in before pulling it out and bringing it to my lips! The gratification is instant and I feel my body temperature suddenly cool down. I do my best to savor this blissful moment and I finally don’t need to remind myself to breathe, I just do. My body and my mind are reconnected and I feel nothing short of relieved. Holding the canister, feeling there’s time to spare, I look over the label. “Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk & Cocoa”. I quickly reason in my head, “well, it is made with SKIM milk,” before diving my spoon in for one more, slightly smaller glorious scoop. It is glorious. I begin to feel more and more like me. I again look at the label, turning to the backside. the Nutrition Facts catch my eye and I look at the protein, something I’ve been trained to look at first when searching for foods since becoming pregnant. “Not bad,” I think. Then I start to scan the entire label....Total Fat..... “eek!” One last lick of my spoon and I remind myself that it was TOTALLY worth it! Cheaper than any mood stabilizing drug and way better for my body! I return everything to it’s place, and barely lick my lips before I hear the distant footsteps and a babbling happy little baby approaching. I turn around, smiling widely and sincerely. I suddenly have this joy returned to me upon seeing her smiley face and I bend down to kiss her little toes and ask her if she wants to be my little monkey before daddy places her on my back. Attached, bouncing up and down and making her monkey sounds, my little love and I go skipping down the hall. In the mirror at the end of the hall, I see her reflection and mine; Smiles for miles. I think to myself, “two minutes and Nutella can change the world”.