Saturday, May 23 2020

saturday morning cartoons, re-opening, and bottle feeding

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! It's a beautiful day today outside, and I couldn't be more grateful we've made it to Saturday. This morning, Rodney and I are munching on some cereal bars on the couch and watching Spider-Man while Marissa and Miles are sleeping in. I'm still in my robe, and if not for the giant pitcher of fresh coffee beside me keeping me focused, I might be tempted to get sucked into Rodney's easy going Saturday morning cartoon ritual.

With regards to the TV, Rodney is at a really funny age where we has developed specific cartoon preferences around his mood, but he's still far off from being able to operate the remote on his own. As a result, I'll get into long debates with him about what to play in the morning, standing there in my bathrobe trying to get him to make up his mind.

"Dada? Watch Paw Patrol?," said Rodney, setting down his half eaten cereal bar on a plate.

"OK, Paw Patrol it is," I said.

"Nnnoooo, no paw patrol Dada," said Rodney. "Spider."

"Spider-Man? The show?" I asked.

"No, spider movie," said Rodney raising a hand.

"No, those movies are too scary, dude," I protested. "And they're PG-13 - I'm not making that mistake again. How about Spider TV?"

"Dada - watch X Man," said Rodney with resignation.

He let me off easy this time. Sometimes he even wants to pick the episode based off the thumbnail image too. I fantasize about the day I can just toss Rodney the remote and let him take the reigns. I'm tired of being our Saturday morning cartoon DJ.

Sip. So how are we all feeling today? Is the quarantine starting to get to you yet? Here in Madison, some light appeared at the end of the tunnel when our mayor announced that in a few days, Madison will be moving into phase one of our reopening plan. While masks and social distancing will be required, stores and restaurants can reopen and small indoor and outdoor gatherings may resume.

Yesterday morning, I sat on the front porch of our house studying the official notice on my phone. As Marissa began to put the lawn mower away, I read her excerpts aloud.

"Small indoor gatherings are permissible, as long as social distancing is implemented. Restaurants and stores can reopen with limited capacity," I read.

"I feel like I'm not ready for this," said Marissa thoughtfully.

"I share that feeling," I replied. "The reopening of the country has been so politicized, it's hard to wrap your head around it without getting defensive, isn't it?"

Marissa nodded.

"I trust the city of Madison," I continued, rising to my feet. "They have clear criteria for each of the phases, and it's all data driven, based on test results. I trust what they're doing."

"I'm feeling anxious about it," said Marissa. "But you're right, we should talk about what we're going to do differently."

And while taking the family for a walk, Marissa and I forged our family's personal re-opening plan. "Since Madison's plan is called Dane Forward, we'll call ours Reckers Forward," I chuckled.

As we walked, we all wore our face masks as a practicef run for Rodney. He handled it about as well as he did when we tried to get him to wear a Spider-Man mask last Halloween. But even through blubbering, whimpering tears, he kept his little face mask on until we reached the end of the block.

"Nice work dude," said Marissa. "I think you've earned a piece of candy when we get home."

If you're like us, the idea of going back to normal is a little is daunting. I've gotten so used to defending our city's stay at home order, that I haven't gotten a chance to reflect on returning to normal life.

"What do you miss most about our old life?" I asked Marissa, hoping to steer the conversation into a more positive direction.

"I miss agility," said Marissa. "And I think the dogs do too. We've gotten some good practice time in the backyard, but they miss open space."

I smiled. "I missed going to the movies with you guys," I laughed. "Not even just for the movies - I just miss observing how comfortable Rodney is at the movie theater... wailing on a big bucket of popcorn, staring at the big screen."

After putting Rodney to bed, Marissa and I shared a bomber on the deck. That night, we planned on giving Miles a bottle.

"So I normally feed him at 11:30," said Marissa. "We'll try a bottle instead, and if he's still happy by like 11:45..."

"Then you can grab another beer and celebrate," I chuckled, finishing her thought.

Marissa and I stood over the kitchen sink, trying to re-remember how to thaw and warm up milk for a bottle. "Is it running water, or sitting water? Hot water?" asked Marissa while I hovered around her.

"And then you test it on your hand, right?" I added. "Or is it the little spot on your wrist? You definitely don't taste it, that can't be right..."

"You know I've never felt like a new parent more than I do in this moment," laughed Marissa. "Why do I feel like we were so much more prepared to do this with Rodney?"

Marissa set me up in the nursing chair with Miles and his bottle. He starting drinking immediately, stopping only to scold me when I started to lose good form.

"I think he's getting mad because you're holding it too close to his mouth," said Marissa. "Here..." she guided my arm just a little further back, and Miles resumed his cadent slurping.

"So that's really why he was mad a me," I laughed. "That's hysterical. I think this one is going to be our ravenous eater."

"I'm scared of how big he might get," laughed Marissa. "What if he's like you, and he weighs thirty pounds after only a year?"

"Want to get another round? He's eating pretty well, I think he's going to let you have another beer," I said.

Thanks for stopping by this morning. Hope you have a wonderful day today.