Posted by: Andrea | May 30, 2008

I sure hope my husband likes changing diapers

I was away seeing my friend Emma’s baby this past weekend for her christening.  I was actually a bit nervous about this because I’m not a very maternal person, at all.  I’ve never been a baby person and am not at ALL a toddler person.  How do you talk to someone who has no sense of reasoning past I WANT THAT?  I think babies are cute, but have never had any sort of urge to have one.  Anything that impacts on my required eight hours of sleep is not something I’d voluntarily choose to bring into my house.

Not only that, most babies, they are not very fond of me.  I pick them up and they cry.  I think babies are actually much more advanced than anyone actually knows, because babies?  They can SMELL FEAR.  I see those tiny little bundles of supposed-joy (anything that cries and poops that much can’t be filled with THAT much joy) and I immediately get scared that I’ll drop it or break its neck by not supporting its head or infect it with all my non-maternal instincts.  And I swear, those babies can tell!  They smell the fear!  It’s kind of like, when a person has been out drinking a LOT the night before and that stale alcohol smell starts coming out of their pores?  It’s like that.  Except it’s a not-very-maternal-person smell and the babies smell it and they just know, here is a person who doesn’t know to support my head.  This person, she will break my neck.

So now, I was going down not only to be around babies all day on Sunday, but I was also staying with my friend Emma.  In a Baby House.  A house that possesses a baby.  A baby that cries.  I only have one other friend who has a baby and she lives back home in Portland so I only have to see her baby once a year, at best.  I figured there would be a great deal of smiling at the baby and waving things in front of the baby’s face, but wasn’t really too sure.  Except that the baby would be near ME, so I figured there would be quite a bit of crying. 

Well.  My friend Emma has been blessed.  Because her baby is AWESOME.  She picked me up at the train station and I sat down in the backseat next to her baby, did the whole ‘hello baby!’ thing and then pretty much ignored the tiny person.  Her baby stared at me the entire drive home, this really intense, assessing stare.  Then, right before we arrived back at the house, I glanced over at her and she SMILED AT ME.  A baby actually SMILED.  At me.  First time in my life that has ever happend.  It was like tiny fairies had come and kissed my cheeks and baby puppies were licking my toes.  The baby liked me!  The baby liked me!

Of course I later discovered that Emma’s baby was probably the most laid back baby ever born.  48 hours at her house and I honestly never heard that baby cry.  Ever.  She’d fuss a bit when she was tired and she’d get a bit upset during the night, but she’d never really cry.  Plus she loved people!  Every single person!  At the party after her christening she was passed from person to person to person and she was happy with every single one of them.  Not only that, she’d eat anything that was put in front of her and she’d even go to sleep in her car seat so we could go out to the pub.  She’s just sleep away next to us, not caring about the noise of people talking all around her.  And even though I KNEW that this baby was like, the bionic baby, I still thought to myself, yeah, this motherhood thing doesn’t look too hard!  I could do this! 

Then I came back home on Monday and discovered new neighbours had moved into the flat next door.  With a baby.  After getting woken up for the third time in one night by the shrieking banshee baby, I rolled over, put in my earplugs and thought, yeah, I totally couldn’t do this. 

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Responses

  1. If it’s any consolation, I think you’ll be a great mom.

    In my experience, parenthood should be approached like any other ridiculously difficult task: with an intense amount of fear and trepidation.

    If you start from that place, everything is far easier than you expected.

    OK, that’s a lie. On a Thursday morning (say, 2:00am?) you’ll realize that this really is as difficult, frustrating and demoralizing as you were afraid it would be…

    …and then your sick child will look at you and you’ll know that being there made their life better. Which makes your life better then you ever thought it could be.

    And remember, they aren’t cute little babies for ever. They grow larger and louder. Basically for two decades.

    But it really is worth it. And yes, husbands should change diapers.

    I have a shirt that reads “D.A.D … Dads Against Diapers! … It’s not just a job, it’s a doody!” Unfortunately it never once got me out of doing a diaper.


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