Okay huge disclaimer before I begin: I’m trying to be funny. Which is something you don’t say when you try to be funny.
I’m pretty sure every friend I’ve had has asked me these questions at some point in time within the past six months, and please believe me when I say I LOVE YOU and I know all you’re doing is showing that you care, so this is in no way an angry rant in any way.
But you know, if you’re worried that you’ll be offended by what you’re about to read, maybe skip this post.
And if you felt mildly offended just reading that previous line, DEFINITELY skip this post.
Now with that out of the way…
There are a surprising set of questions that everyone seems to ask after you give birth, so much so that I’m tempted to come up with a template response for expediency’s sake. That’s really poor social skills (see I know something even though I skipped kindergarten), however, so I haven’t done it.
Instead, I’ve been letting my thoughts and reactions simmer down into a blog post, which is supposedly more socially appropriate (not really, so maybe I should re-enroll in kindergarten again).
So without much more ado, here are a few questions that almost everyone asks:
1. When’s the next one?
If you thought for real that I would have a half-coherent answer to this in the first three months (or even now) after baby came along, you should pinch yourself because you’re dreaming. And lucky you, I might add, because waking up every three hours around the clock means fractured sleep, means I could barely tell you what day it was tomorrow, let alone give a rough estimate of when we would like to try for another child.
Asking this question is like asking a snowboarding newbie when they think they’ll try another slope, as the newbie is resting at home after having broken both legs. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed most of pregnancy, but you’re asking me when I want to have another one when my stitches haven’t healed? Do you know where those stitches are located?
Even now I can’t imagine life with two tiny humans, and it’s been six months. I know there are mums out there who have done it, with babies 11 months apart or so (mad respect to my aunt) but please I would just like to get through this week of Thursdays first.
2. Time flies by really fast, doesn’t it?
I’d rather not contradict you when you say this because clearly your days have been so full of activity that you’re surprised it’s been x amount of months already, but, girl, please. Some days the clock has never ticked slower onto the next hour and that means that the time I shut my eyes was actually only 20 minutes, not 20 hours, before the baby woke up again.
The first few months, I felt like all I was doing was feeding-changing-settling-repeat, but couple that with fractured sleep and the day never seemed to end; it just got dark outside, was all. So no, time didn’t freaking fly, it snailed along until I realized that tomorrow was Sunday, not Thursday.
On the flip side, whenever I heard this from an experienced mother, it came out something like this, “Enjoy it – it doesn’t last forever,” and I took that to heart quite seriously. I have, in the past six months, and continue, to do my best to love every moment with her: the way she grabs with her tiny hands, her crooked smiles, her four limbs drooping as she falls asleep. Because of the advice I’ve gotten, I’ll say it a bit more gently, no. Time doesn’t fly if there are a million moments worth holding onto, and with baby, those moments are a million and one.
3. Is baby a good baby?
No, baby’s an absolute monster who charms with a smile yet has the fury of a thousand storms. I think she’s a sociopath. Seriously, who’s going to tell you that about their baby (besides you, Ada, but that’s because you have the best stories). And what did you imagine a good baby to be, anyway? One that poops politely just as you peel back the moderately-soaked diaper? Or one that realizes crying is stressful so they refrain from doing so unless, perhaps, the house is on fire?
Right now, all baby knows is what she needs. She doesn’t have the pre-frontal cortex development to manipulate anyone, let alone control how she feels. In other words (and this is very much from teacher training), she’s not giving me a hard time, she’s having a hard time. That’s the difference between “Baby, why can’t you shut up?” and “Baby, what’s bothering you?” Mind you, I’ve shouted the former a number of times, but I’m learning.
I mean, if you’ve read all this way and still want to chat, yay! I love you, too. There are definitely other questions I’ve come to appreciate a lot more, like “How are you feeling?” or “What was pregnancy like?” (you reaaaaally want to know because I will dish!) but really, I’m just getting this out of the way so that when we chat next I can just listen about your day (=
Oh, and guess what, tomorrow’s Saturday.
Featured image by Eric Froehling on Unsplash