I’ve never been much a baby person. Toddlers? Yes! Preschoolers? Yes! Moody teenagers? Yes. (So long as it’s only in small doses and there’s plenty of alcohol nearby.) But babies? Babies scare me.
This is why, when TWD invited me to join his college friends for a party last week, I started to get a bit nervous. Whereas my college friends are still mostly in the “getting married” phase, TWD’s college friends are in the “having babies” phase.
And they have like a million babies between them.
Okay, only four actually, plus three assorted toddlers and preschoolers, but between all of the diaper bags and mechanized rockers and car seats and vibrating chairs, it felt like a million.
It probably doesn’t help that I am also a bit afraid of TWD’s friends. They all speak Spanish (and I don’t, at least not well), they’re all married (and I’m not), they all have kids (and I don’t) and they’ve all known each other forever. Even though they’re nice, I still feel like the odd man out most of the time.
Normally, whenever I find myself feeling awkward in a social situation (which is pretty much all the time, regardless of whether we’re around TWD’s friends or mine) I attach myself to the nearest pet/preschooler and go to town. Pets and preschoolers love me. But babies? Babies are an entirely different matter.
I’m always afraid I’m going to break them, or drop them, or get spit up on by them. And I make lots of rookie mistakes like wearing long necklaces and earrings around them, or absentmindedly holding them near my breasts when it’s feeding time and then recoiling in horror when decide they’re hungry.
But TWD is so good with babies.
It’s really kind of sexy actually.
So when he plopped himself down in the middle of the fray and grabbed a kid, I decided to follow suit.
Not right away of course—the twins in the mechanized rockers on either side of the living room were giving me motion sickness—but eventually I put down my wine and helped myself to a baby.
I know a few of the basics: support their heads, make silly faces, don’t give them scissors, put some sort of spit-up guard between your shirt and their mouth, etc. But I’m always surprised by how durable babies actually are. TWD was bouncing his baby all over the place, so I started bouncing mine. But then my arms got tired. Bouncing is hard work. So when TWD laid his baby down in his lap, I squeezed my legs together to make a temporary baby platform and did the same.
That is when it fell asleep.
(When I used the word “it” in relaying this story to my mother, she laughed and said “It? You are definitely not ready to have a baby.”)
Still, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. “It” was bouncing around one minute, then out cold the next. For a minute I thought I might have done something wrong but then “it’s” mother came by, laughed and said, “I hope you don’t have to go to the bathroom any time soon.”
Luckily I did not.
Still, this is why I’m pretty sure that I should just adopt a toddler (a potty-trained toddler preferably) when the time comes.