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Where's The Pause Button?

At last count, our coffee table had seven remote controls piled upon it.  We’ve got a remote for the TIVO, for the DVD player, the stereo, the satellite, the television, even the VCR (though it’s gathering dust in this TIVO age).  We even have what is laughingly called a Universal Remote, created to take the place of all the other remotes.  It hasn’t; it’s simply taken its place beside the other remotes. 
As annoyed as I am by our mound-o-remotes, I’d gladly add another one if I could use it on my daughter.  I only need one button- the pause button.

My need for a pause button is multi-faceted.  First off, I think this kid would herself be happier if her life had a little pause function built in.  She’s hit the stage where being put down and Mommy walking away is a guaranteed recipe for a crying fit.  Never mind that I’ve put her down in her booster seat, and am walking away to get her breakfast bowls.  Never mind that said bowls are already filled and ready for consumption – there’s not much time lag in between her getting the seat and her eating.  And heaven forbid if we give Mommy credit for talking to us the entire time, staying in plain view and waving manically to prove she hasn’t vanished!  Maddie’s a good two months into object permanence – a real pro – and when you combine that with her current love for lots of physical closeness, you’ve got a party waiting to happen.  So I’d adore a way to set her down, momentarily pause her life, get my business done and be back before she realizes anything happened.
Pause button need number two – let’s lengthen those naptimes!  It’s no secret she’s the Queen of cat naps (see previous blog) and I’d really appreciate a little  more time during the Maddie-less part of my day to get things done.  Half an hour is barely enough time to make myself a sandwich, go to the bathroom, and check email.  My body just starts to unwind when she cranks back up for the rest of the day.  With longer naps, I could get meal prep done quickly and efficiently, rather than interspersed between choruses of “Little Red Caboose” and multiple readings of Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!  Perhaps even the occasional (gasp!) video workout.  I know, now I’m just getting greedy –
Which leads me to pause button need number three.  Time is going too fast and I can’t (and don’t want to) catch up.  A friend at church the other day commented that she’s not a baby any more, but a real little girl.  Startled, I looked at Madeleine – really looked at her, not the skimming glance that makes sure she’s not eating paint chips while I cook, and not the adoring gaze with which I drink her essential Maddie-ness up – and saw she is absolutely right.  I need time to adjust my frame of reference, to align the picture in my head of a six-pound newborn flailing helplessly against my chest with the confident, chirpy, brave little girl she now is.  Somehow over the past few weeks, she began segueing from baby to toddler; she started really crawling forward (and hasn’t stopped since, except for Kitty.  Correction – Kitty’s what keeps her crawling!), and pulling herself upright with furniture and using it to walk around, both within the same week.  She has perfected her pointer finger and is enthusiastically using it to 1) point at people’s noses or mouths and say her word for said appendage; and 2) stick same pointer finger in or up said appendage.  I didn’t realize she couldn’t isolate her pointer finger until she began to do so, and that seems to be the story of my motherhood: not knowing what was going on until after the fact, playing a constant game of fast forward.  She doesn’t want to sit when she can stand, or stand when she can walk.  She is constantly communicating, waving her hands imperiously or speaking in a complex but as-yet unknown language.  She lies in your tummy, eyeballs inches away from yours, and speaks contemplatively on a variety of subjects, searching your eyes to make sure she’s understood.  She tries to whistle, sing, dance, whisper – the world is her oyster, she’s ready to take a big bite, and I’m not ready to wean her from her current, baby-sized universe.
So how about it, computer-minded people?  It doesn’t have to be a fancy remote; all I need is one button.  I’m not even asking for a rewind feature – I know the special moments are all the sweeter for being so fleeting, so unrepeatable, so irreplicable.
Can’t I just have a pause to savor them a bit more?


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