Kids grow up too fast.
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know, unless today you happen to be having one of those How long is it until this kid has to move out and get a job, again??? days. On those days, it seems like they’re never going to grow up.
Last night, as we watched Maddie toddle around and turn into an adult right before our eyes, Gerry asked me, “If science came up with a way to stop the aging process for us, would you want to have more kids?”
My response, after I stopped laughing, was a resounding, “Hell. No.” Which surprised me a little at first, to be that sure I was finished having babies. But when he asked me why, the answer came pretty readily. Something about nine months of physical discomfort, followed by brain-cracking, horrific pain, and also something about taking a breath between screams only to hear the doctor say, “I can’t figure out where all this blood is coming from” while a 12,000-watt high beam illuminates your nether regions for an audience at a teaching hospital.
Still, an element of the certainty, the finality of it, makes me terribly sad. Maddie’s already 18 months old – no more first smiles, no more first steps, no more first scrunchy face made at the first taste of the first bowl of that disgusting rice cereal gruel.
But whenever I start to get all gooshy and sentimental, I remember there are OTHER baby-related firsts I’ll never have to deal with again, either.
1. First projectile spit-up that requires everyone to get in the bathtub. Immediately. Fully clothed.
2. First dried up, crunchy umbilical cord stump found floating around loose inside footie pajamas.
3. First call to Poison Control.
4. First time Poison Control operator laughs at you when you report, “My baby ate Butt Paste.”
5. First major outing without a diaper bag, and the resulting sock-and-electrical-tape MacGyvered diaper, applied while attempting not to touch any surfaces in a public restroom.
6. First hoop earring unceremoniously removed in a sudden jerking motion by nursing infant.
7. First diaper explosion that requires disassembling, laundering, and sanitizing an entire pack-n-play.
8. First time noticing two huge wet spots on the front of your shirt… after you’ve already been out in public for several hours.
9. First night of lost sleep due to baby crying for 7 hours straight, ending abruptly with the child falling asleep peacefully five minutes before your alarm goes off.
10. First belated baby proofing; installing a cabinet latch on the changing table immediately after finding your baby sitting happily in the middle of a baby powder eruption.
See? I feel less sniffly already. I guess I should change that title to 10 Baby Firsts That I’m Pretty Glad I PROBABLY Won’t Be Doing Again, though. We still do have a baby around here, after all. It’s not too late for her to eat some Butt Paste.