Mike and I went to a one-year-old’s birthday party on Sunday. Clearly, we really like this one-year-old a lot since we went to a one-year-old’s birthday party on Sunday. Mike actually credits the birthday girl with “making the idea of kids okay.” This little girl is gifted in the powers of persuasion.
Before pregnancy, when Mike and I would attend children’s birthday parties, we would leave with a steely resolve to delay parenthood for at least another decade. It wouldn’t take much to scare us. My mess-free husband would witness an unsupervised child manhandling a melting popsicle, and it would compel him to make such declarations as “our children will never eat food off a stick” or “this is my nightmare!!”
At the party on Sunday, I watched a 4-year-old girl stick her little thumb into the center of an uneaten cake and lick the icing off. When I interrupted her and asked, “Honey, where are your parents?” she glared at me with unflinching defiance like I was the one offending her.
I took this as a personal assault to my pre-eminence as an adult. How could a 4-year-old do this to me?
But I immediately realized that this 14-week-old baby growing inside of me is actually doing the same thing: acting out baby defiance, laughing at my pre-pregnancy habits, and breaking down every shred of pre-eminence I once had.
It’s a baby takeover with the following terms:
- The baby feeds exclusively off of Chipotle burritos and tidal waves of unfiltered emotion.
- He/she thinks the 10:00pm hour should only be witnessed by hooligans and street youths, which is why he/she performs a hard-shutdown of all my waking senses by 9:27pm (sometimes earlier on the weekends, just to be ironic).
- He/she laughs at pants that button arbitrarily. This baby will not be mocked.
- He/she recently made a move to take control of my mind, setting off marathon headaches that can only be negotiated by blackout curtains and intermittent cruelty to my husband. Please pray for him.
I now eat meat-lovers pizza with little memory of my years of vegetarianism. Now a hamburger always seems like a great idea, and as far as I’m concerned, lunch begins at 10am.
I’m also sorry to report that the pound-for-pound challenge has begun to backfire. As Mike puts on more muscle weight (the only kind his body will allow), he looks progressively more like a Greek god, while I look more and more like I should lay off the cheap beer. We went to the beach yesterday, which was really great for Mike.
Life is changing in a traumatically hilarious way. Sometimes it’s more traumatic then hilarious, but we have mandated accelerated growth in our sense of humor. I’ve started making more messes to prepare Mike for parenthood. He doesn’t think this is funny yet, so clearly he has more growth ahead.
On days where parenthood seems foreign and scary, Mike and I tell people we don’t believe our baby will cry or poop. He/she will just hum softly and metabolize through photosynthesis.
We’ve also considered turning down the hospital gowns at the the OB/GYN office and asking staff if we can just bring our own Snuggies instead.
Mike recently mandated that our child can only be born in the state of California if he/she leaves the hospital dressed head-to-toe in Colorado attire. I have begun shrinking all of his Colorado apparel to help satisfy this request.
As you can see, our parenting agenda is still under construction.
Someday we will host a different one-year-old’s party, the kind that is loud and chaotic, full of messes and sticky little fingers. We will exhaustively celebrate a child we like the most, the most persuasive little person of all, and it will be great.
But for now, we submit day-by-day to the baby takeover, folding to the slow process of baby persuasion, and eating a lot of Chipotle to fuel the effort.