Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Magnetism of Babies

It's a funny thing, what these little critters do to us. I never understood the power babies - in particular little, new babies - have over us until I observed my friends' reactions to my newborn(s). Everyone talks about how seeing him, holding him, makes them want one. Or another one. And I'm sure this is a thought they had not had a minute before.

I went to a wedding Saturday night, which was my first real outing with Theo as far as seeing my dance peeps and not just mommy friends. Everyone was abuzz about the mysterious package on my chest, and all asked the same things, and I responded the same things.

Things are going great.
No, I don't feel sleep deprived at all. 
The birth was much better this time.
Two kids is not as hard as I'd thought. 
Bumpus has really taken to his brother. 

I find myself repeating over and over how adding a baby has only added about 20% more work, not 100% more as I'd anticipated. That newborns are so easy. That once you're already in kid mode, adding one more is no big deal - the real shock is going from adult single childless female to mom; mom of one to mom of two is easy. 

A friend announced her third pregnancy on FB yesterday. It makes me wonder who's going to be next in the third kid club - there are a few candidates; women who are just young enough and have husbands enough to pull it off. These things are contagious. It reminds me of when I had chickens; when one would lay an egg, the other would sing this sad little song. It's hard to say what that song was about, but it always sounded like longing to me. 

I spoke to a male friend the other night who had called to congratulate me on the new baby. He asked if I was planning on having any more. He was the first person to ask me this. And you know, I'm not going to lie and say the idea hadn't occurred to me, much like the idea of buying one of those cute little Fiats or selling house and moving somewhere cheaper. It's hard not to contemplate something that you know is a possibility even if it's not realistic for your life. Yes, I am poor and old as heck, but I bet I could pull off one more child if I put my mind to it. People have babies at 43. But before my sister has a heart attack while reading this, no, this idea will stay in the realm of Fiats and new houses. 

It is scary though when you think about how all the reasons not to have one child are exactly the same reasons not to have the second or third or more - too old, too single, too poor, house and car not big enough, etc etc. So when do you decide you're done? When your body decides for you? Or when you just let the opportunity slip by, passive-aggressively?

I often think that had I been surrounded by single, childless people, I probably wouldn't have had any. If I had a dedicated group of single girlfriends I could travel with and spend all my spare time with, I would have been content with that. But luckily or unluckily that didn't happen; over the life span of every group, nearly all of the members eventually pair off and/or have children, leaving only a few stragglers. I was determined not to be one of those stragglers. My dance world is experiencing a massive baby boom at the moment - as noted earlier now including lots of moms of 3 or more kids - which I know is unusual. I swear we all just feed off of each other. I wonder how many pregnancies have begun as a result of a friend posting a picture of an ultrasound or a new baby on Facebook with resultant "likes" and comments? How many of us see these posts and find ourselves singing that strange, sad song of longing, the song so ancient and primal that we don't even know we're singing it?


  1. So glad it's all going well. Well done for getting out too!

  2. We're having a baby boom here at work & I am not going to lie, it makes me reevaluate my decision to be 1 & done. I start to run the numbers, think about the logistics, etc. The only difference now from when I was childless is that back then, I couldn't get all gooey over a baby because it hurt too much. Now I can't wait to snuggle all these babies!!