Thursday, October 20, 2005

People say the darnedest things

I am constantly amused at the things people feel the need to say to/about babies and to new moms. Old ladies in grocery stores, who would normally run over my foot with their carts to get to the sale on bread, now stop to talk to my child. Today, in the store, Arrena was sitting comfortably in her sling, looking around as I shopped. One lady stopped, cooed (of course, because my child is a cutie!) and asked her age. At hearing 2.5 months, she was AMAZED at how alert Arrena was. She went on and on about how Arrena was able to follow her with her gaze. Now, maybe I'm just sarcastic (maybe?!), but I was thinking that, of course she's alert - she's awake. If she were asleep, she wouldn't be noticing much of anything. But awake...... she's able to use her eyes just fine. And as for following the woman with her gaze, I'm pretty sure Arrena was trying to commit the details of the woman to memory, in case she had to pick her out of a lineup. She seemed vaguely crazy.

Another favorite is when, days or weeks after giving birth, I'm asked if I want to have another one. Another one?! I can't figure out this one yet. I think anyone who asks this question should get the beating they're clearly asking for. At least wait 6 months to a year. 2 weeks after giving birth, I don't know if/when I want a second child. I'm just hoping this one allows me to nap enough to avoid a psychotic episode. It's like asking a first-time driving student if they think they'd like to drive in the Indy 500 next. "Uh........maybe I should learn how to turn the blinker on and off before I make that decision". And you know whatever you say, be it yes or no, will be held against you in the court of public opinion.

The ugly truth is, that I'm acutely aware that another child could really finish me off. Arrena is easily an opinionated baby. They say that the second child will be the opposite character of the first. But since no one knows who "they" are, they can't be held accountable for when that proves false. And frankly, I'm barely holding my own with Arrena. Another one just like her and I'm a goner. :-) They'd outnumber me (even with Daddy on my side - they outnumber us in some cosmicly charged universe of parenthood) and let's face it, I will fold.

Of course, isn't that the joy of parenthood - learning to surrender to your life in a "I asked for this punishment" kind of way. There should be a mantra to parenthood - much like a 12 step program. Something that would give us hope and guidance in the dark times (teenage years). Right now, I have my own mantra that encapsulates my ideology of new mommyhood. It goes like this:

If my child is alive and breathing at the end of the day, then I've done my job well. Anything beyond that, is just gravy.

I wonder if the next baby will be as great an experience. DOH!


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