Saturday, December 3, 2011

Babies Are Weird Pooping Machines

It's no secret I'm at that point in life when babies are on the brain. My biological clock ticks while friends and family poke and prod at the subject. And of course, part of me really likes the idea of starting a family. Except I had never held a newborn. I didn't know what it was like - until today.

So I went to my friend's house. He and his partner had recently taken in a baby through foster care, with the plan to adopt. And this baby is cute as far as newborns go. He's smiley, and quiet, and sweet. Really. But I couldn't help thinking, when I saw my friend's efforts towards this little thing, this is boring relative to how much crap you need to do. Now I know there are a lot of things that go into minute to minute maintenance which keeps a person busy, and boring is better than exciting with children, but for some reason, I expected more. I had no idea new borns were literally poop machines without much, if any, personality.

I know my friends are attached to this baby, and there are many physiological reasons for this. However, I couldn't help thinking, I must not really want a kid yet. I know it's different when this thing pops out of you - of course you'd be attached. After all, it's yours! Still, it's a hard concept for me to wrap my head around.

When I imagine parenting, I don't imagine babies. I imagine toddlers, five year olds, and teens. Part of this is because with my own brother, he had a personality when he came to our family. He was already well on his way to 2. I was never around babies - not really. Besides, the majority of parenting doesn't involve babies, it involves toddlers, young children, and teens. Now I find myself in a strange predicament. How do I know when I want to have a kid? Obviously when that boring sleep deprived phase sounds palatable. Because I'm not interested in those first few months. I'm interested in the person who'll show up in year 2 and 3.

I say this now, knowing that when it's your own kid it is different. Still, I now expect to be bored and busy. It's good to have realistic expectations. Otherwise I might wonder why the baby didn't sing and dance (just kidding - really).

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