Let’s all talk about babies

We’ve been talking a lot about babies, the girls and I. Not Christian and I, because that baby ship has sailed, let me tell you.

Claire is adamant that she wants “an adopt-a-baby.” Apparently it’s like something you can just pick up from the local mall. Stuff it with stuffing, pick out a dress, and give it a name. If only it were that easy. When my grandmother was a girl, she remembers her mother wanting a boy so badly, that she was ready to just go get her one, back in the days when one really could just want into an orphanage and pick out the newest member of their family. She never did though, because #6 was her boy, and that’s my reigning argument against Christian’s “#4 will be a boy” theory. Because I’m definitely not going all the way to 6.

“Some women can’t have babies?” she asks. I wonder where her curiosity comes from, but then I don’t. She’s my little mother, my caretaker to sound cliche. She’s always quick to the side of a sad classmate or sister, stroking hair or rubbing backs, and she adores babies of all kinds.

I know in this case, she’s thinking of Ellie from the movie Up, and the scene where she learns she can’t have children. So I try to explain that no, some women can’t have babies, because their bodies work differently, so they adopt babies that don’t have homes. And then we’re back to the shopping mall version of Adopt-A-Baby.

 

In the dark of their room at night, I’m asked to tell the story of when they were born. I usually go through the CliffsNotes version to save time and possible freak outs. You and Sissy were both in my tummy at the same time, side by side, and I got reeeeeally big. Then the doctors needed to take you out because I was sick. And you were so small, so very small, that you lived in the hospital for five weeks. But I went to visit you every day.

“And you held us?” Yes. “And you rocked us?” Yes. “And we cried because we missed you.” Well…you actually slept most of the time, but whatever.

 

I get a slight pang when I see a baby. Slight.  At the preschool I’m surrounded by mothers in that particular stage of life of juggling strollers and toddlers, or wearing tiny babies on their chests while they walk their little ones into the building. Part of that ache says, Yes! You want another! Look how cute and sweet and sleepy it is!  But the other part says, HELL TO THE NO! LOOK AWAY! LOOK AWAY!  And that’s the part that I know will win out because I’m ready for everyone to just be done with having babies already so we can move on with our lives. I’m content with now being the “mom of older kids” compared to those still in the trenches of babydom, even if my kids are only a blink and a half older. I’m done. No more high chairs, swings, bouncers. We’re weeding out the board books and the baby toys as the donation trucks come around.

So I give the other parents knowing smiles because it wasn’t that long ago that I was herding two 3-year-olds down these same halls while carrying an 18-month-old because she refused her stroller.

But it also seems like forever ago.

 

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20 Comments

    1. Thank you, Missy! Yeah, no babies happening here, although Christian still tries to get the girls to ask for a brother.

  1. I get a pang once in a while, though I am freshly out of the tiny helpless baby stage (thank god). But this first week with both the kids in school? 3 1/2 hours of me time back after nearly 4 years?

    I am happy with two. Glad you’re in a good place too.

  2. I always thought I’d feel pangs of regrets as my kid grows up, but I so rarely do. I love to hold and cuddle little ones (although truth be told, I’m not really a baby kind of gal), but I’m enjoying it more and more as my kid grows up. And I still get to “borrow” kids all the time. But I can certainly get why others feel differently 🙂

    1. Same here, I love seeing the kids my girls are becoming. It’s so fun. I was NEVER really a baby person.

  3. I think this is the perfect opposite to my advice post today, the knowing you are done post. I know I’m done too. Done, done, done! Do I adore babies and would take another one in a minute if someone offered? You bet. But I don’t have the desire to have any more for sure. You and me girl, same page.

    1. I just think of all the baby stuff, the blankets, the pacifiers, and constant pajama wearing with greasy hair…no thank you.

  4. we’ve been dealing with baby questions here too. She thinks that mommy can just whip one up and then BOOM there’s a toddler for her to play with. NOPE… not happening like that.

  5. Oh my (now hysterectomied out for over 27 years) uterus ached for another after cervical cancer robbed me of my playpen at 28. So, I babysit as a professional and am up to my ears in the sweetest, most lovable, go-home-at-night Littles that PAY me at the end of the month. Big bucks, too, relatively speaking, and they most frequently bring the Littles to me at my home so I can continue to do my thing(s) all day long only with a baby or two dangling off me. Pays the bills and keeps the oxytocin flowing which we all know makes Mama happier.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that! But I’m glad you still get to take care of kids. What a rewarding career!

  6. Our ship sailed and sailed and sailed! The boys are just now asking for a sister. I’m like- you’re nuts! Sorry kids, we’ve been spayed and neutered in this house.
    But I love seeing friends’ with their babies, it makes me so happy!

    1. Every time I think about it I have to remind myself that my attention and sanity are already split more ways than I would prefer. Christian tries to brainwash the girls into asking for a brother, but I’m not budging.

  7. I know what you mean about it seeming like yesterday yet ages ago at the same time.
    I get pangs every once in a while, but we are done and I am at peace with it. Now I just want to enjoy these times with my boys.

    1. At peace with it is a great way to put it. And you’re right. Although there’s always more love to give, I really want to enjoy my girls now.

  8. I love my two and know that there are no more in the future for us. They are half raised already so another one would feel like whiplash going back to the baby years.

    But still. The older they get, the more I adore babies. It takes a lot for me not to gush over every new mom I see. Because that time, while so, so HARD, was such a sweet, sweet time. And like everybody always says, and now me too, those years go by so fast.

    1. They do. I see the exhausted looks on their faces, like you described in your most recent post, and I feel for them, but I remember how sweet it was.

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