I find myself staring a lot these days.
Staring at a blank computer screen with sincere writing intentions, but then navigating to a different screen of car seat reviews and articles from people who feel very strongly about the disposability of diapers.
I’ve been staring at suggested online baby registries, wondering when parenting started to involve video surveillance monitors and backpack toddler-leashes.
I find myself staring at my closet every morning, wondering how I can creatively avoid wearing pants.
I’ve gone shopping at least five times, trying to find clothes that accommodate a trunk-like abdomen. Generally, I stare at clothes for a long time and then find myself in the checkout line buying a set of hangers and oversize scented candle.
I don’t know.
Inexplicably, I also buy a bottle of ketchup every time I go to the grocery store. I have no idea why this happens, except for the fact that every time I enter a grocery store, I’m positive we are completely out of ketchup. Mike has allowed me to continue grocery shopping, mostly because he considers this a fun game of what random condiments I will bring home.
Currently, we have 14 containers of greek yogurt in our fridge, but I can’t for the life of me remember to buy toilet paper.
Welcome to our home.
I’ve also been staring at my guest room, slowing for a sneak peak every time I walk by. Must the guest bed go? Where would a crib go? If we put it near a window, would the baby escape while I’m asleep?
A few days ago, Mike and I got to stare at an ultrasound monitor featuring a clear little baby sucking a thumb in plain sight. We saw ten fingers and toes, a miniature profile, and a rapid, beating heart.
We also didn’t see anything between the legs, which we realized meant that our baby D was actually a baby she! It’s a girl!
Our eyes got wide and our jaws nearly came unhinged, because you see, I was positive we were having a boy.
It’s not that I wanted or preferred a boy, it’s that I completely trusted my first maternal instincts, and instincts pointed directly to a boy.
Apparently, those maternal instincts are still in development, which is why I’m now considering video surveillance monitors. They might be a good idea after all.
Anyway, I find myself staring a lot these days.
Staring at baby gear that seems less than necessary, at a fridge that was seemingly stocked by a fourth grader.
Today, I finally stared down this blank writing screen, adamant to not let another week go by without saying hello, and yes, I’m still writing (with or without pants).
My eyes will adjust soon, I’m sure. If you stare long enough, you eventually get the picture; your vision will clear.
If you wait long enough and stare at just the right screen at just the right moment, you might encounter the most important thing.
You encounter a lovely baby girl in living black and white.
And you stare.
For a long moment, you breathlessly stare.
And after that, all the other screens simply don’t matter as much. .