I don’t really think of myself as a baby person. Babies are cute and cuddly and fun for a short period of time and then they start to need things. And you have to guess at what they need because they’re not particularly articulate. This is about the time I like to have someone handy to hand them back to.
But meeting the new daughter of one of the two women in the world who refer to me as their “second mom” felt different. I’m not saying I wanted to whisk this tiny baby off and be responsible for her. But, her crying wasn’t annoying. Her smile seemed brighter. Her expressions were cuter. And her laughter was more addictive than the babies of people I didn’t watch grow up.
I was still happy Mom and Dad were quick to jump in when she started fussing. Fortunately, they speak baby and were were able to interpret exactly what little Ireland needed quickly. But it occurred to me why so many parents are excited about becoming grandparents.
In the decision not to have children, we didn’t really think about the inevitable outcome of not having grandchildren either. I think I’m OK with borrowing other people’s grandchildren. I suppose it’s not really fair–after all, we didn’t go through the sleepless nights or the difficult adolescence or the expense of raising the next generation. But, sometimes it’s best to leave these things to more qualified people.
I enjoyed watching Chris and Karen with their daughter. They have a sense of calm rarely seen in new parents. Or maybe it was just exhaustion? Whatever the case, they exuded confidence and seemed unflustered, knowing what was needed when and dealt with hunger, fatigue, and projectile spit-up like pros.
I’m sure it helps that Ireland is a happy baby without colic. There are many parents who would probably be calm and collected if their babies weren’t keeping them up all night. In any case, we apparently kept Ireland up past her nap time. After enjoying playing for a while and then having her own breakfast, she started nodding off like some of my sleep-apnea-suffering co-workers during a long, boring meeting.
I actually remembered my DSLR is also capable of shooting video just in time to catch Ireland nodding off one more time before she was put down to sleep in her car seat. Isn’t it amazing how a baby can sleep soundly in the middle of a restaurant patio in a car seat? She slept through conversation and commotion and even while she was carried across the shopping center and set back down time and time again.
Perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad–someone to cart you around while you nap.