I’m sending my baby boy to Montessori school. This means his clothes will be put away, because he won’t be home to throw every miniatured article in to the center of whatever room he happens to be in. Two-thirds of the second bedroom serves as an office, the remaining third belongs to my one-year-old boy. By the end of the day, my desk will be clean, papers and mementos filed, notebooks stored in a deep dark drawer. I’ll have dusted the dresser, put his books on a shelf, thrown his toys in a basket I once used to organize my car. His cloth diapers I can fold and arrange neatly in the bathroom. He won’t be here to pull them down and carry them bunched in his hand as he crawls away. That woman I was in college, after college, single, engaged–will come back to life. I will be neat and tidy again. I will be organized. I will clean.
I am sending my baby boy to Montessori school. It will come, or they will, the tears I’ve been anticipating since he was old enough that I wasn’t just fighting fatigue that feels like death, when there was room in my head for a thought. “It’s an adjustment for both mother and baby,” Lynne’s policies read. The words seem so cold for something so sharp. My stepmother says, “You know he’ll cry. I mean, he’ll really cry. You’ll need to be ready.” I smile it off, like, I’ve got this handled. But I know she’s right. I’ve never let him cry. I don’t believe in CIO, or cry it out. I don’t even believe in acronyms.
I’m sending my baby boy to Montessori school. No more listening to my mother-in-law talk about herself, or say, “you see,” after every fifth word, or watch as her face leans back in that way she thinks is Oscar award worthy. I don’t have to laugh at her jokes as she does or stress about how to get her to leave or receive any more emails from her that read more like presidential directives. Stop changing the subject line, please. I’m not an idiot.
I’m sending my baby boy to Montessori school. Exercise! Marketing! Facebook! Invoicing! Housework! Laundry! Drycleaning! Writing! Reading! Oh my god. Reading. Yes! Do you know how much time seven to four even is? How many loads of laundry washed, dirtied dust rags, sinkfuls of dishes, novels read, short stories drafted, essays revised, words edited, emails answered, towels folded, bags of recycling taken out, homecooked meals made, servings of soup eaten, bills paid, letters written, phone calls answered? I don’t either but I imagine a great improvement.
I’m sending my baby boy to Montessori. I won’t have time to do anything, not with all the calling to Lynne to make sure he isn’t vomiting from all the screaming he’ll do. Oh? He’s smiling and chattering? Oh? He took his first steps? Oh? I shouldn’t come right now? Oh? He’s okay without me? Damn it. What’s that? I should work and read and catch up on chores? All right. I suppose there are things I could get done.
I’m sending my baby boy to Montessori school.