There’s a baby somewhere on our floor. Maybe not on our floor. Maybe in an apartment just above or below us. But somewhere close by there’s a baby. And it’s still a pretty small baby. This baby has the very specific cry of a newborn: short, desperate spurts. You can hear him put all of his energy into this frantic plea for survival. It’s the cry that says, very clearly, ”I’m fucking hungry! Put that boob in my damn mouth!”
Three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint the age of the baby or tell what he wanted just by the sound of his cry. Despite a long childhood of helping with babies, I still had a lot to learn. I’ve gained a great appreciation for what my parents went through every time another bundle of joy entered our home. I thought I did enough of the work as a kid that nothing would really surprise me or catch me off guard. But my girls surprise me every day.
I’d like to claim that “Mom mode” kicked in as soon as I gave birth, that I was suddenly endowed with god-like “Mom Powers”. But, that’s not really how it works. Yeah, a few of your hormones spike, and you become more tender towards babies (absolutely a species survival trait, by the way; we’d totally eat our young without it.) But you don’t instantly know how to care for your child or what to expect from them. Your parenting super hero cape grows very slowly. My own mom’s cape is fucking epic. (Seriously, she’s got, like, gold trim and shit.) Mine’s more of a shawl, if even that. I think the gray hairs are coming in faster. But I do have a few moments here and there when I can feel it growing out. For example, I recently corralled several toddlers in a Barnes & Noble Café by lining up a few chairs and convincing them to pretend they were on a train.
My mom’s cape is way cooler.
Unfortunately, most days I feel far from brilliant. I’m only just barely learning to be a mom as fast as my daughters are growing up. My baby turned into a toddler a week ago. It was like someone flipped the switch. She’s walking and starting to talk. She’s beginning to understand and even obey when I give her directions. And she’s getting old enough that I need to start expecting her to play nicely with other kids. She doesn’t get an automatic ”I’m just a baby” pass any more. And while I’m trying to enjoy my no-longer-a-baby as she grows and learns, my try-your-patience-toddler is quickly approaching preschool. And she’s not going to slow down so I can mourn the loss of babyhood in my home. She’s headed full-throttle into the future. My finely honed ability to identify infant cries is now obsolete. Guess I’ll just do my best to keep up.
In less than a year,
these two have turned into
. I’m a pretty lucky lady. :)comments powered by Disqus