I am so completely and totally not ready to have kids. Here’s one reason why: I’m selfish. My best friend from college who happens to be almost the same age as me and happens to be a mom now, well, she’s totally ready to have kids. Well, actually. I don’t know. She has a kid. The cutest little five-month old who wandered into her belly when she wasn’t expecting it.
There we were at Starbucks, single me and married best friend, sipping on chai teas and frappucinos like that was all that mattered in the world when she whipped out a bookmark from our Bible study book. Seriously though, I would have been pumped to see a new bookmark. I actually get really excited about things like bookmarks and we actually text each other pictures of new journals and new pens quite frequently. It’s a weird obsession.
So out pops this “bookmark” that totally wasn’t holding her page at all and she could have cared less what was on page 93 and she slaps it down in front of me and there it sat on top of my book. My eyes followed the bookmark from the jump out of the book to the landing zone right in front of me. And my eyes just stayed there for a while.
This was no ordinary bookmark.
It was gray and white and black and had swirly things and looked like all these blobs, an art project gone wrong. “I just thought you would really like to see this new bookmark I got,” she smirked. I stared. I stared actually for probably way too long. “I’m pregnant!”
She really was pregnant, and this swirly picture wasn’t really a bad bookmark after all. She told me that it was the size of a poppy seed. Or was it a blueberry? This size game of measuring the growing fetus to a perfectly good fruit that you eat continued the entire time. They actually all do it. Congratulations! Your baby is the size of a lemon…You won’t believe it! You’re having an avocado. But, as it turns out, it pops out as a baby—an eating, pooping, crying, spitting, eating, sleeping, pooping baby.
Ready or not!
When my cousin found out they were going to have a baby, I inquired, while eating my (selfish) dinner of fajitas-for-one where I worried about (selfishly) only feeding myself, “So, are you ready to be a dad?”
“I guess so,” he replied. I’m actually wondering what would have happened if he said no, he wasn’t ready. Well, I guess we’ve seen a few guys in this world who decided that actually they weren’t ready for something that they actually knew would happen because of X and here you are stuck with the resulting Y. They bail. Good thing he’s not the bailing type.
So the swirly bookmark moved from blueberry (or poppy seed) to lemon to avocado to a whole freaking pumpkin. I went to see this pumpkin, but not really pumpkin, in the hospital and I held him with fear, like the kind of holding when you have to stay sitting and you feel your limbs cramping up because you’re so stiff and you forget that you need to breathe to stay alive. My best friend looked tired, very tired. “I have to tell you all about it,” she whispered to only me in a room full of googly eyes and people who talked in these whiny high-pitched voices saying words that aren’t words, like ohh youu goo goo gaa gaa wittle babyyy! You look just like your mommy! News flash: they don’t look like mommy or daddy. They look like aliens for quite some time. That wittle nose has been squished up for literally nine months and looks nothing like Daddy’s not-so-wittle nose.
I have to tell you, I finally got to hear the I have to tell you all about it and I’m not sold on the whole ordeal. It sounds like a fiasco. The things I have learned are, frankly, unbelievable. I’ll spare you the stretch mark and breast feeding details.
But she absolutely loves her little pumpkin and she wouldn’t trade him for an actual pumpkin any day. Just last week I bounced him around in my arms for a few minutes and did the whole goo goo gaa gaa routine and then I stared at my dinner on the table and I held him out to her like, “Sooo, what should I do with him while we eat?” Pathetic. (Selfish.) But I was so hungry.
“I mean, I’ll just hold him while we eat.” She bounced him up and down with one arm and one knee, ate dinner with the other knee, (I mean arm, but knee eating would be impressive) and held an entire conversation with her mouth and her brain. Incredible. Then came the diaper changes and the monitors screaming all night long. I woke up exhausted and I hadn’t done a thing.
So, this is why I am totally not ready for a baby. Or an avocado or a lemon or a pumpkin. For now, my bookmark doesn’t have swirls on it and I care about what page I’m on and, let me tell you, I am definitely in the first few chapters of my book.