Eve and I went out today. Babies R Us had a Christmas event. She fell asleep around Canal Street, and woke up on the third floor of the megastore, blinking and confused in the midst of dozens of babies and their cooing parents. There was a purple-bloused employee reading a book and sneezing into her shirt every few minutes. We couldn't hear it at all from the back row. Another employee was frantically unfolding chairs and lining them into rows. ("We had, like, four people show up last year," I heard another one wearily proclaim to a customer, at the end.) I sat gratefully and unstrapped Eve, who was blazing beneath her thick layers, snug grey hat. We exchanged pleasantries with everyone around us, me in words, Eve in drool and gummy smiles.
Jeffrey the giraffe made an appearance, its fur a dingy yellow. I observed it (her? there was a woman inside the costume) holding squirming babies for photo ops, but decided to keep Eve to myself for ours. I should have put my hair up, I thought, inspecting the photos taken of us. There was a dried white stain on my pants where Eve had spit up this morning, but you couldn't see it in the picture. I wonder if anyone noticed it when I was talking to them. I like to think they understand, being parents themselves. There so many messes. It's impossible to get them all.
I strapped Eve back into her carrier so we could design her Christmas onesie. Most of the glitter glue was gone but we made do with what we had. She sat patiently while I kneeled on the floor, painstakingly tracing a tree onto the white cotton, dotting it with gold and silver baubles, a misshapen gold star on top. I inscribed her name in red and briefly agonized over other decorations to add before deciding simple was best. I wanted to put a candy cane over the butt, but the logistics, considering the very wet glitter on the front, seemed needlessly difficult. We left it to dry and continued to socialize. Other parents are very easy to talk to, because you can revert to baby talk and inane birthing details when you run out of things to say.
I fed her in a squashy chair before we left. She belched long and deep: she's always making me proud. We perused the toy aisle and she selected some alphabet blocks and a picture books with gummy edges and pages that crackle when you crush them. I picked up a Santa hat for her, and considered buying her some red and white pajamas, but they all had white Santa Claus on them, and that's not what Christmas in the Eddings household is about.
Her onesie is hanging by the front door. Someone smudged her name before it could fully dry: I don't know who, but when we returned to it, the vandalization was obvious. I used my pinkie finger to smudge the rest, and that helped somewhat, but I couldn't help but feel a bit incensed: it had been so perfect. But Eve didn't care; her head drooped onto my chest, warm and exhausted. She slept all the way home, while I inspected the dried glitter beneath my fingernails.