Yesterday, I posted how “sometimes it’s mandatory to pick your baby’s nose.”
Besides being a fantastic status update, it’s just one more thing in an ever-expanding list of things I’ve learned about motherhood. On that subject, I still find it a little strange to call myself that, and by that, I mean M-O-T-H-E-R. In the past, that title only applied after B-A-D-A-S-S and before the mother of all swearwords (plus E and R).
Dear Samuel L. Jackson:
I may dig on swine, but I also own the wallet.
BA MOFO II (AKA The Chopper, AKA Amie)
I guess there’s part of this mother that still feels like an impostor. I might be having trouble with the title because I hope to never own jeans that sit too high on my waist. While that’s true, another reason I’m shying away from the name could be because we tried for so long to produce a kid, and then **KABOOM**, my husband and I sprinted outside just in time to catch a swaddled baby girl shot out of a cannon. (Remember, swaddling = safe sleeping. Safety first, people.) Given we had less than one day’s notice of Ava’s arrival, I think this analogy seems more appropriate than a stork landing.
Most people get at least nine months to “prepare” for the arrival of their child. I use the term “prepare” loosely, as I know, I know, no one is ever “prepared” for parenting, but nevertheless, I do feel our situation was (and is) different. After the initial phone call from the agency, and the sixty whole minutes we had to decide whether to pick up Ava (she wasn’t named yet, but Baby Girl sounds too sterile and distant now), and the sleepless night of all nights, and the frantic drive to Southfield, and the tidy signing of many white papers with many intimidating words, and the trip to some hospital we’d never visited, and the brief chitchat with some overworked nurse we’d never met, we were handed a newborn.
We weren’t even asked if we wanted fries with her.
Maybe that sounds insensitive, but it did feel a little like drive-thru delivery. I might be wrong about this, as I personally have never given birth, but don’t expecting parents get at least a day or two in the hospital to, um, learn how to care for their newborn? Yes, I know you can’t master the childrearing ropes in that timeframe, but I’m pretty certain our nurse wouldn’t have told us how to feed or change Ava if we didn’t ask (protest might be a better word choice).
Many of you are probably now thinking, duh, how hard is it to insert bottle into mouth or detach diaper from butt, but to say my husband and I were (and still very much are) rookies is an understatement. Though our inexperience is the result of our own doing (we weren’t exactly goo-goo for babies in the past), it’s funny how scant instruction we received, especially considering the microscope we endured to become “expecting” parents. (We’ll be under that microscope, by the way, for well into 2012. Thankfully, we have very resilient mitochondria.)
Despite our absent Ava Manual and our present naiveté, we’re learning, and we haven’t encouraged our baby to go ahead and play with matches (yet). In just over six weeks, we’re getting the hang of Ava, she’s getting the hang of us, and someday soon, I might stop wondering who the hell people are talking to when they call me M-O-M.
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