Christina M. Currie: Baby blues
December 28, 2007
Craig — I’ve seen studies that indicate the need to nurture is genetically ingrained in those with a female chromosome, and I’ve seen that need reflected in my two girls.
And, it seems to be growing.
It’s my fault.
I said no to a kitten, and I said no to a puppy, so now 6-year-old Nikki and 7-year-old Katie are clamoring for a baby.
“A real baby, mom, not a pretend baby.”
I just want to mention at this point that Katie did get a Baby Alive for her birthday. This doll is about as close to real as you can get, and, to this point, Katie has not changed a single diaper. That’s probably because she has yet to feed the thing.
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See my hesitation?
Their desire to have a baby and my desire to not have another baby was heightened Wednesday night when I got to babysit my 9-month-old niece, who is visiting from Oklahoma.
The writing was on the wall when I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the dome light, turn on the headlights and drive while managing a baby who just spit her pacifier into the netherealms of the back seat.
Worse, my kids couldn’t figure out how I could drive with a very, very, very mad baby in the backseat.
“Mom! You have to stop!”
“Mom, you have to be good to the baby!”
Has so much changed that something I used to do well, effortlessly even, was so overwhelming?
By the time we got home, I had three upset children. One was fairly easy to pacify. (Guess.)
The other two were wondering how they survived this long. My sister Cathy also wonders how I managed to not kill, mutilate or at least scar (so far) two children (just wait, some scars aren’t visible).
In the midst of trying to explain why we needed a baby of our very own, I handed Katie a full diaper for transport.
If I’d needed any more convincing that a new baby isn’t the best idea, her face was it.
“Katie, if we had a baby, you’d have to do this stuff all the time. You’d have to help. You’d even have to change diapers sometimes.”
“Nuh uh. That would be your job because you’re the mom.”
She’s not really very good at making a case, is she?
So much has changed since my babies were babies. We’re just now at a point where they can get their own drinks, rummage for their own snacks and entertain themselves.
I don’t think I miss the days of buying formula and diapers, of hauling a diaper bag, a car seat and a baby.
I surely don’t miss those times when you put off going to the bathroom until you’re ready to explode because the baby either won’t let you put her down or is just on the edge of falling asleep and any movement would ruin what you’ve been working toward for the past 49 minutes.
I certainly don’t miss the panic you feel when you can’t find the binky or when your nose tells you that’s an eight wipey diaper (expecially after your sister, the model mother, leaves the wipes in the car and they’re frozen solid).
Then again, there’s that clean baby smell. That feeling you get when you make her smile. That warm weight of a baby sleeping on your chest with one hand gripping your shirt so you don’t get away.
But hey, that’s what makes borrowing so fun.
If it weren’t the ideal situation, grandparents wouldn’t enjoy it quite as much.