I am officially a crazy lady.
To be more specific, I am officially a baby-crazy lady.
Everyone said that this would happen, but I didn’t believe them.
Maybe it’s that I’d been so overwhelmed by my own little ones that I didn’t have time to think about anything else. Or maybe it’s that I wasn’t getting any sleep and only the essential parts of my brain were functioning. And then, once I did finally start sleeping because my toddler started sleeping, maybe I just wasn’t seeing enough people with tiny babies on a regular basis after my move to the ‘burbs this summer. (Have I mentioned that it’s weird out here in the country?)
Whatever it was, I was in my happy, oblivious, I’m-done-having-babies bubble, and all was right with the world.
And then I went Christmas shopping. By myself.
My toddler was in tow for most of it, but then she mercifully stayed home two nights so that I could actually finish up my shopping without having to run across a department store before she tried to throw herself down an escalator.
And I started seeing babies. More to the point, I started noticing babies. I started smiling at the babies and their parents. I started getting closer to them, making goo-goo eyes at the babies and engaging their parents in conversation. (I don’t think it was as creepy as it sounds.) I started feeling a weird pang in my uterus that can only be translated as: OMG, lady, get with the program and procreate some more!
I thought the shop was closed for business. Actually, let me rephrase that: The shop is closed for business. (Seriously, don’t get your hopes up, Mom. And to my husband: Don’t have a panic attack.) I am deliriously happy as a mother of two, and I know myself well enough to know that I would lose my ever-loving mind if I added another baby to our brood. I have even written about this a few times. No, we are done. So done.
And yet…babies are so wonderful. They’re tiny and perfect, and they look up at you with such innocence and love. They wave their little fists at you and fall asleep in your arms. Yes, they cry, but you can soothe them. They want the basics, and you can provide them. Of course sometimes it’s more serious, but most of the time, it’s nothing that can’t be cured with a cuddle, a song or a boob.
As those babies get older, things change. A whole other wonderful world opens up to you, don’t get me wrong, and it is wonderful. But along with it comes bigger problems and bigger worries.
You may worry about screwing your kids up when they’re infants, but screwing them up takes on a whole new meaning when they’re a little older. When you realize that they’re watching you all the time and absorbing everything…when you see the hurt in their eyes because of something someone else did or (worse) something you said…when you have to give them advice and you damn well hope it’s the right advice…and when you really and truly understand that you are shaping the adults they will become and that this is it so you’d better not screw it up!
It is a huge, amazing, awesome, terrifying responsibility.
So, yeah, babies. Sure, they’re super cute, but maybe all of that is why they’re looking even more appealing to me right about now.