Because BFF had something important to see to, I had the pleasure of watching 3/4 of her children (Grace Kelly, Marion Ross, and Sweet Punkin) overnight a few nights ago. Kirk Douglas got to spend some quality time with his clone uncle. Hanyway, all of the girls were sweet as could be and very well-behaved once I showed them the prayer closet in the attic. BFF was considerate enough to space most of her children in accordance to mine so Grace paired off with Amy and Amelia, while Marion Ross and Olivia grabbed toys from each other and screeched their displeasure only to turn around and hug each other until I thought I’d have to die from the cuteness. Sweet Punkin and I spent a lot of time together, and while she ranks up there with the top 7 babies of the world, I have to say that, y’all, babies are hard.
I’m sure it’s selective memory (or survival memory?), but I’d forgotten that when a baby isn’t able to sit up on her own yet, and her mother isn’t there to hold her so you put her down so you can go to the toilet? She’s pretty much going to let you know that YOU WILL BURN IN HELL BECAUSE YOU PUT ME DOWN. (The ‘bitch’ was implied.) Dudes, my arms were tired!
I’d also forgotten that when babies get hungry they get hungry RIGHTTHISINSTANT and pretty much think they’re going to die and will fight accordingly until finally, finally you figure out the cereal:water ratio and shove that first spoonful into their open and angry mouths. It was like Hell’s Kitchen. Of course, they will choke because YOU’RE AN IDIOT WHO CAN’T EVEN FEED A BABY THE RIGHT WAY and then will cry even harder because WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME YOU INEPT BAFFOON? MAKE ME INHALE CEREAL INTO MY LUNGS? and then they will blame you with their tearful baby eyes and you’ll pretty much have to run out that instant and buy back their love.
I know from experience that Sweet Punkin HATES to have a dirty diaper. This is odd for me because my kids anticipated their bowel explosions and hid them from me as much as they could so they could do “art” on my walls when I wasn’t looking. But I knew to be on the lookout (smellout) for a stinky. She would NOT be getting diaper rash on my watch. Except she totally might have because I might have maybe mistaken her soiled nappy cry for the hunger cry mentioned above. Eventually both issues were addressed. Eventually.
But here’s the good part: The two-toofer smiles they throw at you when you least expect them. The feel of their cool palms when they wrap their dimpled baby hands around your fingers. That delicious baby scent on the back of their necks. The buddah bellies. The intensity with which they study the overhead fan. That first morning cuddle you get when you get them out of their cribs. Watching them discovering everything.
I watched as Sweet Punkin’ caught sight of a toy on the floor next to her. Her light brow drew together as she studied it. And then, and it was just amazing, I saw her make the decision to grab at it. Her arm just didn’t shoot out in the general direction of the toy, she actually thought it through. I want that. I want to touch it, and I definitely want to try to eat it. How am I going to make that happen? I know it might sound silly, but I’d forgotten that feeling you get when it happens. How hard you root for them to figure it out. Amazing. I loved it.
I watched when she would stop chewing on the rubber snake Olivia provided (thus giving Grace Kelly the opportunity to drape it around her baby sister’s shoulders and call her Britney) and smile at her sisters and flap her arms in excitement. These people are important to me. These people make me feel good. I belong with them in no uncertain terms.
I like to say that I’m finished. That that baby urge has finally disappeared, but when I watched Sweet Punkin sleeping, one arm thrown over her eyes, and listened to those sweet baby sighs, I felt the part of me that a serious talk and a vasectomy had buried stir and I leaned against the door to her room and for a moment wanted just one more.