Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

This past weekend, we had a shower for my little sister, who is due to have her first baby in a few short months. I’d forgotten that onesies actually start out white.

My daughter will turn 1 in a few weeks. Seeing all the tiny baby things brings back a lot of memories of this past year for year, and really brings home how much she’s grown. She’s still my baby, but she’s not little little anymore. I’m not entirely sure how that makes me feel, definitively anyway. On one hand, I get an estrogen high just imagining the tiny, wrinkly alien that my niece of nephew will be upon arrival. The way newborn legs wiggle-dance-kick with seeming random jabs is a vivid, visceral memory. I love the way they curl to fit into the crook of an arm so perfectly, no matter whose arm it is. And the smell. Oh, the smell.

But honestly, the first six weeks at home with a newborn suck. It is Capital-H Hard. You’ve either never have to develop a routine for a baby before and have nowhere to start from, or you’re sure you know what to do, but that was the last baby. This baby? He (and I’m arbitrarily picking He as a pronoun because 1) I need a grammar convention, and this is what they learned me back in skool, and 2) I’m not about to start alternating like they do on Babycenter because man, is that trite) might as well come tattooed with, “I ain’t like nothin’ you’ve seen before,” across his forehead. Rock, you, hard place. This isn’t news to any parents out there. Parenthood requires body armor.

I really wanted this to be more profound, but sleep deprivation is once again wreaking havoc on my already atrophying brain. I was hoping for near-universally relatable truth sprinkled with the funny. I am falling far short today. (I'll keep working on it.) But what I’m trying to say is that although the idea of another baby, another child (because babyhood is over before you finish the blink) is so appealing, so is the idea that my family is the perfect size as-is. It’s not like the challenge is over. Hoo boy, is it far from over. Excuse me while I go remove a 10-month old fist from the phone cord.

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