Princess: Mary Poppins is a married couple from Minnesota
The Aspen Princess
So the other night we were at a friend’s house for a barbecue, and I was bragging about how great my baby has been.
“Yeah, but haven’t you had help, like, this whole time?” said someone from the peanut gallery.
I refrained from rolling my eyeballs, cocking my hip, sighing and doing the other things little Jewish girls do when they’re being bratty. I decided to play the humble card. Plus, he kind of had a point.
“Why yes, I have,” I said in my best Southern accent, just because I wanted to sound Gentile. I resisted the urge to say, “Kind sir.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past few weeks, it’s that if you start bragging about how awesome your baby is, said baby will immediately start to scream and will not be soothed no matter how many times you whisper “Shhh” in his ear, as if that ever really does anything.
It’s true, The Babes has been amazing. But it is also true that my in-laws have been here for six weeks, and before that, my mom was here for two. Yes, I was alone for a couple of weeks between, and sure, I was little tired, but I did just fine.
It was the first time I understood what my friend Catherine is talking about when she complains about being on a “time frame” because of her two kids. Like, sometimes she cuts me off when I am telling her some fascinating story on the phone. Or she doesn’t wait for me on our Highland Bowl hike because she wants to get in as much skiing as she can in the two hours and that means not waiting for me which always makes me feel a little bit like a fat loser, but I pretend to understand.
Well, now I really do understand.
I’ll admit one day I hired the nanny up the street because I had a doctor’s appointment that ended up taking more than two hours because I decided to stop at the grocery store to get a few things while I was out. I ran into someone I knew at Whole Foods and did my very best to concentrate on what they were saying even though their face turned into this giant clock with dollar signs where the numbers were supposed to go.
The nanny from up the street is as amazing as everyone says she is. She raised six sons of her own and at least four kids in our neighborhood that I know of, maybe more. I came home to a perfectly swaddled, peacefully sleeping baby and an immaculate house.
But it was gonna cost me.
The whole outing, including Whole Foods, ended up running me close to 300 bucks.
Long story longer: It’s cheaper to just stay home.
But then the Margos came. Imagine if Mary Poppins were actually a married couple from Minnesota. They should probably have a theme song that sounds something like “A Spoonful of Sugar” but with more of a polka sound and sung in Minnesota accents instead of a British one.
Not only are these two both insanely good at taking care of our pug, but they are, like, unbelievable with the baby.
When the baby cries or fusses, Ron swoops him up in his enormous arms and does laps around the living room singing various fight songs from his favorite football and hockey teams. It works every time. Mimi likes to talk to him in this singsong tone, calling him “Chick” and “Bubbalicious” and talking to him like one might talk to their friends about a movie they recently saw.
“Well, you just need to burp, Bubbalicious!” she’ll croon. “Then you’ll feel so much better.”
If there’s one thing I have learned from her, it’s that little baby things like burping, farting, pooping, sleeping, suckling and eating are all actually very fascinating and worthy of actual conversation with said baby. Also, there is no need to panic when the baby screams and you can’t figure out how to soothe him. You remain calm and keep talking to him like he’s someone you just met on the chairlift. You just keep the conversation light and fill the air with words, like maybe about the weather or the snow conditions.
Right now as I am writing, the Margo men are out clearing snow. Minnesotans take snow removal very seriously, which is why we have accumulated an arsenal of equipment since they’ve been here, including a mini-snow blower and a quiver of shovels in different sizes. Also, they cook and clean and act like they have fun doing it, which is a new concept to me.
Meanwhile my brother is reclining on the couch chatting online with one of his many hot Costa Rican girlfriends who all look like bikini models. So I guess that’s why he’s written off marriage and all that.
Also, Ryan hasn’t worked for the past month because there hasn’t been any snow for him to plow. Instead of panicking about money, we took this as a self-imposed, unpaid paternity leave. It was kind of worth it. Having him here was amazing, and this is a time with The Babes that we’ll never get back.
It’s been an insanely special time. And yes, I had a lot of help. What’s that old saying, you should live in a small village if you have a baby so everyone can pitch in?
It all ends Monday, when the Margos are back home in Minnesota and Ryan is back at work and it’ll be just me and The Babes. I know it’ll probably be hard. But holding my son close and hearing the song of his tiny little breath in my ear is better than anything else out there in the world I might be missing, that’s for sure.
Nothing has ever made me so happy.
The Princess is going to finally get her first (and likely her last) bowl hike in today. Email your love to email@example.com.
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