Written by Emily
My brother and his wife just had a baby. A beautiful, perfect boy. My sister-in-law has asked me about developmental milestones. She’s wondered about how I handled this thing or that thing and “do you think that’s normal?” I want to be a reference. I want to have answers for her questions, but when my kids ate bananas for the first time escapes me. I can’t recall how many poops they had on a daily basis. I just don’t remember how often I nursed (a bazillion times a day) or for how long (3 hours at a time). I’m so ashamed.
But there are things I remember, a few things that might help her or my brother or the rest of my family and friends who are having babies and taunting my ovaries. So here goes.
I know this:
*Your water is not your own. Your little one will splash in it, blow bubbles in it and “drink” it. In my experience, if you close your eyes, you can’t even taste the floaters.
*You’ll wear white jeans or light-colored jeans because they’re all the rage for spring and summer, and you are still the fashionista you were before you had kids, dammit. And when your thighs are covered in black dirt from the soles of the little ones you’ve been carrying around all day, you’ll think twice about white denim. Dammit.
*Dads, you’ll forget about the painted toenails until you’re in the locker room at the gym, surrounded by a room full of burly men in various states of undress. It’s ok.
*Sleep will come. Or so I’m told.
*That little one will drink the bath water. And then you’ll find the Twix floater. And then you’ll pray. Children bring us closer to God.
*Your cherub will practice his the new “clean-up” song on a city street or in the subway station. And then he’ll kiss the garbage can because “kissing is nice.”
*At some point your child will point to a dress and say, “Mommy, that’s too tiny for you” or “Do you have a baby in your belly?” And you’ll want to cry, but you won’t because you know everything rides on how you react in this very moment. Everything. Later, you’ll buy the first fitness DVDs from the first infomercial you see.
*Suddenly, you find yourself dangling a snack in front of your babe and whistling or clicking to get her out the door, which you discover is the same thing you do with your dog. So what? You love your dog.
*There will be a moment when you feel like you’re in control again and then you’ll get pregnant. Or there will be a moment when you think you may never be yourself again and then you’ll get pregnant. Or you’ll sell all of your baby things in a community yard sale, so you can start a college fund for junior, and then you’ll get pregnant. Moral of the story: Don’t let your guard down for a second.
*Your child will have nothing to say until you step into a public restroom, and she notices pubic hair, a tampon, your period or the consistency of your poop. Cue in-depth analysis and loud commentary.
And, yes, I think that’s normal. At least, I hope.