b'final mattersAdventures of aPandemic BabyIf a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it Forget it. Can you hold my baby?BY SARA COURTNEYH hello, will youpeople. Overpriced books. It became i, holdmybaby?ourafter-schoolhangout,aplace Willyousaywhere my baby crawled and eventually "goo-goo-ga- walked across the cavernous layout of ga" to her so shethe childrens section.knowsanotherWe zoomed her one-year birthday voice?Willyouwithhergrandparents.Icantbe-smile at my baby behind your mask,lieve I havent met you, my mom be-sosheknowstherereally,trulyaremoaned, and my baby put her face to other people in this world besides me? the screen to examine this person on a My baby was born February 12,computer who qualifies as a mysteri-thesamedayasLincolnsbirthday,ous but friendly additional person in thesamedayasmygrandparentsthis world, who looks kinda like me. wedding anniversary, and one monthHarriet-Parker is used to visiting with her Nana over Zoom. Say hi to Nana. And the baby waved and a day before the lockdown. Shecautiously and said, Hi!cameamonthearlyandmymomI would estimate that I spend ap-cried when we told her our daughters nameHarriet-Parker.proximatelyonemillionminutesof My mom, who lives in Seattle, was going to fly in at the end of March. WeBut now my daughter and I sit onmy day imagining visiting my mom. agreed there was no need to change her ticket; in the meantime, my aunt camethe playroom rug playing with blocks,We rush through the airport with our to visit and brought baby socks, a little dress, and medical masks. But we didday after day with nowhere to go andvaccine-sore arms. Nana picks up baby not even discuss the masks. I thought, How odd, and assumed my aunt wasnovisitorsandtheresimplyisnotand gives her a big hug. Baby looks at being paranoid. She seemed embarrassed that they were in the gift bag. I putenough caffeine to brighten the mo- me and goo goos stranger danger. I them in a drawer and out of my mind. notony of never leaving the house. Theexplain Look. It is Zoom Nana. And In the beginning of the pandemic, when my mom delayed her flight themissions have changed: Go to the play- she will put her face close to my moms first time, we tempered our disappointment by joking that the baby could beroom and make the dinosaurs roar! Goand, Im hoping, will relax a bit.three months old before she met her. Shell be so big, we thought. The moreto the dining room, build block city andWe are almost there. Every day more it dragged on, the more we fancied ourselves experts on which were the safestproceed to knock it down! Go back to thepeoplegetvaccinated.Theschools airlines to fly during a pandemic and which airline to avoid at all costs. In theplayroom and rock out to the cat piano!can move to three feet of space. And end, we decided none of them. Go back to the dining room and attackpandemic baby is that much closer to Instead, we zoomed with Nana in the dining room where my kids also at- block city! Nap! Repeat! For a year. someone else holding her.tend school. I thought back to when my twin boys, now 6, were babies. TheyThegreatest,wildlyamazingad- Heres to that wildly special, better had Mommy and Me Music classes, storytime at the library, playdates at theventure we do is going to Barnes andlate than never, first Nana-hug. park. They were busy babies with active social lives. Our lives were a series ofNoble. B&N is a luxury vacation withSaraCourtneyisawriterlivingin missions: Chase squirrels in the park! Find the biggest walking stick! Race to the treeall the latest hot amenities: A new en- Maplewood. She can build an awesome on one foot! I was hopped up on caffeine and having a blast.vironment.Afewsociallydistancedblock city.42/ matters magazine / spring 2021'