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Monday, May 29, 2006

Project Baby : Phase I

Being on the cusp of starting to think about maybe possibly trying to start having a baby, is a cautious and confusing time indeed. Phase I for some people may include prenatal vitamins and doctor's appointments. Perhaps the purchase of a basal thermometer.

No, silly people. These things may prepare you for conception. Phase I is more about preparing you for parenthood. Phase I is a contemplative time, a time in which you must determine and examine exactly what you are getting yourselves into. Phase I involves borrowing a toddler for the day and seeing if you have the proverbial mettle to do this thing.

Meet our Phase I: Our only niece. She is cute...and I believe that is one of her weapons. Nay, I know it is. This child can do the pout like no other...or perhaps like all others. The one year old as a species is crafty. This much I have learned.

So we borrowed my sister-in-law's kid. We had not been on the approved list until she turned one. I am thinking now that it may have been more for our safety than hers. But regardless, we are now officially on the approved list and therefore took her for the day. It was mission we accepted voluntarily, requested even.

The plan: Take her to the aquarium, then back to our suburban utopia for a walk downtown for ice cream at the very quaint mom and pop "Gracies". How hard could this be right? Oh, I laugh heartily at my past ignorance.

Babies, they come with baggage. A ton of it. Never let it be said that you have no idea why a soccer mom has to drive a big SUV. Trust me. Gas prices be damned. She needs the storage space. So we were wide eyed and sneaking looks of disbelief to eachother as we loaded up a stroller, pack and play, baby backpack thing, HUGE diaper bag with three changes of clothes and six diapers, three fruit packs, a bottle, goldfish and crackers, a bib, a spoon, several books, a toy piano, baby wipes, some butt cream stuff, a sippy cup of water, an extra pair of socks, and not one but two blankets.

It was an aresenal of baby stuff. As my mother-in-law was packing it, I kept thinking to myself, alright, enough already. I tell you now, that each of these things was used. ALL THREE OUTFITS...The kid needs to be changed more often than Celine Dion.

After $50 on tickets to the aquarium, $7 for parking and $35 for food...her favorite part was the staircase. Yes, you read right. Despite the shark tank and the hippo room, she was enthralled with going up and down the stairs holding on while her aunt on one side and uncle on the other swung her up and down the stairs at least 25 times. The gym is less strenuous.

But we love this kid. Love her like we didn't think we could love someone...I mean, I wouldn't climb the stairs 25 times for anyone else, trust me. And to finally be on the approved list. To have made it to the promised land. It was amazing. We had been on the approved list briefly once before, but had let her fall while we turned our back for a second five minutes after being approved. Needless to say, our privileges were revoked and only now have we begged our way back on.

It was as if this child were the holy grail. We watched intently, were with her every step she took. We could not have been more careful if we were holding $1 million dollars worth of precious crystal. We navigated the danger zone of a crowded aquarium and breathed a sigh of relief upon strapping her into her car seat unscathed for the ride back to our safe, controlled home.

Two minutes after walking in the door of our house, she fell and got the world's biggest egg on her forehead. It was huge, the size of a golfball, and I am not exaggerating. It looked alot worse than it was...she cried for less than a minute. But the evidence was there, and it was undeniable. We would be off the approved list and may never get back on it again.

We took her for ice cream. It seemed to be going down. As we sat and watched her as she slept in her stroller, we discussed that it may not even be noticeable. We might be able to get away with it after all.

Just as we convinced ourselves that the huge black and blue golfball on her head couldn't even be seen with the naked eye, a passerby peered into her carraige to look at how beautiful she was and said:



We did the only thing we could. We brushed her light hair over the bump and prayed no one would notice until we were long gone. And it worked for a while. But eventually we had to come clean. We needed a plan B, quick. Being removed from the approved list was not an option after having spent the day with this angle/devil. Plan B worked out. My in-laws took the fall. They were high enough up on the approved list to take the hit and survive, we were not. Someone had to be sacrificed, and I am happy to report. It wasn't us.

On to Phase II, recovering from Phase I with a 12 hour sleep. Seriously, is it possible to do this on a part time basis? Because this stuff is TIRING!


Blogger Carolyn said...

I think you're going to be a wonderful mother, but I must say that you have to appreciate those 12-hour rests now ... you'll never get one again! :)

11:15 PM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

ha ha- I just spent my weekend helping with the children's games at a festival and now can seriously live without seeing a kid for a while. Of course, i am sure that yours will be different:-)

10:01 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm so excited to read about someone who's actually doing more than just holding someone else's baby before declaring that they must have one of their own! Children will change your life - everyone says that - but not everyone is prepared for the one hundred different ways that it will change! Great idea to borrow your niece! Obiviously, if all that changing and diapering and feeding and worrying didn't make you feel any less excited about the next five minutes with her, you are on the right track!! GREAT JOB!!! (And what mother hasn't had their kid fall from time to time?!? That's more prep for the job!)

12:01 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

I giggled through this whole post. You are going to be a fabulous mommy.

As for the goose egg on her head, I am probably the most overprotective mother around, and my three year old fell coming up the sidewalk outside our "safe" apartment just this week, raising a purple mound on his forehead that made him look like he was trying to grow a second head. It is, I assure you, neither the first nor the last time. These things happen, even to the people who write the list.

As much as you enjoy your niece, it will be even more amazing (and exasperating, and exhausting, and thrilling beyond belief) when you have your own.

1:38 PM  
Blogger undercover celebrity said...

I love that you've broken this down into phases - very organized.

I think the same thing -- whenever we're around friends with kids, I ooo and aaah over them. But once we leave, the aaahing is more over how quiet things are and how you're not constantly looking around making sure the little buggers aren't running with scissors. :)

I seriously don't know how mom's do it. Just watching them exhausts me.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Poppy Cede said...

Kids are supposed to fall. Otherwise, how do they learn about gravity?

4:31 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

I have an eight-year-old and a five-year-old. While I was the luckest mom alive with my first, not having had any major incidents or anything, the second time around hasn't gone as smoothly. Let's see, how should I put this? I guess the appropriate words to describe my five-year-old are "accident prone". Yes, that's about right. So, basically, it can go either way. Or somewhere down the middle. But guess what? It doesn't matter in the least(so long as it's not a serious injury, anyways). Kids seem to be made of rubber at that age and easily bounch back (no pun intended!) from most injuries. Don't worry! The falling down? Happens ALL the time!

P.S. Read lots of baby books. Especially ones like What To Expect When You're Expecting and things like that. It will open your eyes and make you feel a LOT more confident. Good luck!

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Babies are fun. But what about the new job? And Mexico? We're dying to hear about them!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Josefina said...

I think you'll do just fine, I think kids fall a lot!!!!
Anyway, your story was very funny told!!!!!

5:45 PM  
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