The phrase “You need a license to fish, but any fool can have a baby” often rumbled through my head, as I neared the end of my pregnancy with Claire. I felt ill equipped to bring a newborn baby home for the first time. A justifiable fear, since I hadn’t changed a diaper in 30 years. George had never changed a diaper.
We both had (and have) much to learn. Our mutual inexperience with babies has meant that we’ve had many surprises along the way. Many suggest that babies are heartier than we give them credit for. Here are a few:
1) Babies are loud. I’ve read that they are getting to know their voices for the first time. I think they are trying to wake the dead.
2) They don't fight fair. Yesterday, Claire took her dexterous, little index finger and found the tiny tear duct space in the corner of my eye. She reached in and tried to scoop out my eyeball. It was an unfamiliar kind of pain. Labor still beat it though.
3) They fart frequently and in a variety of places and situations. Enough said.
4) Their fingernails grow like wildfire -- much to my dismay, since they also loathe having them cut.
5) They hate having their nose, mouth and hands wiped. And the plethora of appliances meant to help with the task (such as the Nose Frieda) merely plays on a parent’s desperation and adds to the resistance.
6) They are tough mother suckers. The other day, Claire was trying to climb onto a chair and fell backwards. Somehow, her mouth was involved in the mishap. I was completely freaked out by the amount of blood that ensued. She was just mad that I made her stop playing long enough to deal with the damage (refer to #5).
7) They're daredevils. We were at Claire’s grandma’s house. I walked out of the bathroom and found Claire crawling up the steps for the first time all by herself!
Or I could have said, “conquering the Steppes”, since the summary of this post is that babies often act like barbarians. Perhaps you’re thinking, "My child doesn't do these things. Speak for yourself!”If that’s the case, I’ll end by saying that Claire makes a damn cute barbarian.