I was never a genuine baby person. I know I definitely went through a period in my teens and early 20’s where I regularly declared I was never going to have kids. I don’t remember exactly when I changed my mind but even when I did, I still wasn’t a baby person.
Now, I’m not made of STONE! But until the Facebook babies of old high school and summer camp friends entered my life all the way back in 2007, I don’t remember much thought about babies at all. I know liked LOOKING at the Facebook babies. I liked cute baby videos and pictures well enough and I knew I wanted to make one of my own, but I didn’t really LONG for it. There was no aching, no yearning. And I never really had a burning desire to hold everyone else’s babies. I only did it when I was supposed to, like when visiting a new baby in the family. I still don’t have a sincere desire to hold other people’s babies just for fun of it. I have a lot to focus on with my own and I still get nervous that I’ll do something wrong in front of the kid’s parent.
These masterpieces were not created by a baby. Even though the artist did ingest a startling amount of red crayon.
I sense people think it’s strange but I can’t help it. It’s not that I DISLIKE babies. I enjoy leg chunk and giggles. I’m wild about pajamas with monkeys all over them and the fact that my son is still my own little dolly to dress up as I wish.
Mommy friends of mine despair that their babies are growing so fast. They don’t fall asleep post-feeding anymore, burrowing their heads onto mommy’s chest for a long nap. They are outgrowing their swings and activity mats and bouncy chairs! One friend swears she will sob uncontrollably the day she puts away her baby’s swing. Don’t get me wrong- I loved our baby swing, too! And of course I was a bit sad when I put away our activity mat. My son spent many, many hours on that mat, kicking his legs and watching the mobile like he was on acid. And I’m sad that most of the 2T-sized clothes I’m now buying for fall just aren’t as cute as the baby stuff. (Bye bye, striped sailor romper.) I’m just not THAT sad. I’m glad he’s not a baby anymore.
This is cute and all, but COME ON!
I feel like such an unfeeling weirdo for just wishing my son were 3 already or 6 or 8 or 12. I want to pretend to be a dinosaur and build a fort made of pillows and blankets. I want to talk about our favorite part of a book. I want to be told I’m not being fair; that he hates me and he’s running away! I want to be thanked in full sentences.
I don’t miss the terror of being left alone for 13 hours a day with a tiny creature who can pretty much only poop and cry. I don’t miss how my son would sleep peacefully in his carseat while I made myself a sandwich and wake up crying the INSTANT I sat down to eat.
I used to stare at my son and beseech him to smile. I would try to read to him like the good, obedient, nervous-first-time-mom-and-avid-parenting-book-reader I am. But I felt really stupid about it and he didn’t seem to care either way. It’s not even that long ago, really. He’s only 17 months old and believe me, he acts his age. But now that I’ve been getting words and real interaction I just want MORE. He asks for water and milk and crackers. He says “NO!” when he means it instead of just screaming (OK, OK, he also screams). He helps me put the clean laundry in the basket and into drawers. I can teach him these little things and feel like something is happening. Progress is being made, we’re getting somewhere. It’s not just time to taste our feet and laugh. When we come home, we can both push the door open. If we see a picture of a duck, we can yell “quack, quack, quack” because that IS what duckies say and I’m NOT talking to myself!
This is some SERIOUS, big-boy, high-stakes peek-a-boo!
I still really want another one*, but my most frequent baby fantasies aren’t sweet-smelling and full of rocking and cooing. They’re of my son kissing his future sibling and reading them a story. They’re of all 4 of us going to a movie, then eating a nice meal and having an argument about the movie. Yes, I know it’s not all snuggles and rainbows and smiles. I have an active imagination, thankyouverymuch. There’s me catching my son trying to sit on his future sibling’s face. There’s me grocery shopping with 2 kids and some surprise diarrhea. I’m not completely delusional. I’m just not all about the baby part of it. They’re cute and they can rock a fabulous print, but I want more.
*No, I’m not pregnant, nor are we trying right now.