Babies Bring Out the Superpowers in Me

I think I might be getting too old to have a baby. Not that I didn’t know that before, but I’ve been holding onto fantasies that I would have a freakish medical condition resulting in a baby, or I would find one wrapped in swaddling clothes in the brush while walking to the gym, or that I would be babysitting and the parents would just forget to pick up the baby. Any of these things are possible. Although the path-to-the-gym thing might just be a way to get out of exercising.

But this week my 15-month-old nephew and 5-year-old niece were at my house and while I did great while they were here, I was a dead man walking when they left. Running after a baby is hard.

It never ceases to amaze me how much young parents can accomplish in a day. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I was cooking three meals a day, making birthday party invitations with stencils and jewel tone colored pencils, and was this close to mastering tying a shoe with one hand when Velcro was invented. I baked homemade bread, planted annuals and remembered to get all my kids their immunizations, all while nursing a baby and raising my hand to volunteer to do more.

Having a baby around makes you feel like Batgirl. You can do anything and everything. And then when the kids go to bed, you fall asleep at 7:45 with your hands in a sink full of soaking sippy cups and all your powers are drained away.

This week, I almost forgot to make the pitcher of margaritas, which I’m pretty sure was the whole point of the trip down here.

I was really out of my league, because not only am I 15 years older since I had babies and little kids running around my legs, the products and accessories have changed.

James, my nephew, was eating yogurt that came in little pink, solid, puffy droplets. I found one on the floor and thought it was a chair foot pad or a piece of a pool toy. I was smooshing it into a cube shape and looking around for something to stick it on when his dad said, “Uh, that’s a yogurt.” It probably had lost all of its yogurty taste.

Baby food is so much better than when my kids ate it. He ate tiny ravioli and chicken with noodles and there was not a single trace of pinkish-gray meat paste. It’s a good thing. I gag just thinking about that stuff. What meat industry lobbyist convinced Gerber that we should feed our babies beef-in-a-jar from 1948 through 2000?

I was really in my glory when those kids were here. They’ll wear you out, but they are so cute and soft and funny and they wear such adorable little outfits, that you almost want to wake them up again when they finally fall asleep.

Fortunately, before I could fully form that thought in my head, I was asleep.

Labels: , , ,