“Maybe we should get her one of those capes that barbers use when she starts eating solids,” I joke.
There is a pause just long enough to convey condescension. “Yes, well babies are messy for some time.” Definitely an edge to the voice.
Hm. Okay so he thinks that being clean is more important to me than raising my child.
Ran into the same problem with a relative over the holidays when I mentioned how much Zoe cries.
I don’t get the taboo here. Why are we so petrified of talking about the inconvenience children cause? Because let’s be honest, they are one hell of an inconvenience. A wonderful and fulfilling inconvenience that I happily took upon myself, but an inconvenience nonetheless. It’s like we’re worried that if we do anything but clap our hands over our ears, shut our eyes, and loudly and out of key sing the praises of our children, it is definitive proof that we are terrible parents.
I love my daughter deeply and want at least a caravan or circus troupe of little kiddies, but I can’t help but think that hiding from the truth is not going to make my job any easier nor me a better parent.
And the truth is that parenting is not a picnic. For being so young, Zoe is awfully talented at siphoning away my time and energy the same way a gang of thugs could siphon gasoline out of a parked car. Except the gasoline part is illegal. Zoe draining me is perfectly legal why? Because I’m her mom. Cool, but am I really meant to pretend that every minute is a joy? Get this: eight to ten times a day I have to wipe mustard colored feces off of her angelic bottom with such skill that I don’t dip my hands and her clothes in her flowing Fountain of Youth. (read: her new favorite time to pee is in the middle of diaper changes). And lord, she’s got lungs to let you know about it. If I breathe oh this child the wrong way, she erupts in spasms of hysterical crying.
Like her parents, she is somewhat high-strung.
And you know what? I love her. We open ourselves up to a much deeper love when we accept the truth of the inconveniences and imperfections of people– including babies– rather than insisting that they are perfect. I’m not a perfect mom and I can’t offer a perfect love, but the truth is a solid place to start.