It was a lovely Saturday evening. There was pizza (Rocky Rococo’s), wine, and chocolate cake. These kind of evenings don’t happen all the time, but they are proportionally more likely when we visit my in-laws. Weird, right?
(Sidebar: Something about being at their home is so comforting. I’m without responsibilities, no cleaning that needs done… In short, I like going there. It makes me feel relaxed.)
The lovely night was an early Thanksgiving holiday and my husband’s 42nd birthday party at the same time (hence the cake). We invited his aunt and uncle, a couple I’ve begun calling ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’ too. Aunt MJ is, well… sassy; opinionated and outspoken, just like me, while Uncle Doug might be the most laid-back person I’ve ever met. In short, I like them.
We were talking about our 18-month Quest for Baby, and how my husband and I are in a holding pattern until the next cycle. I told MJ I wasn’t agitated about the wait, because of my fear of having to care for a baby. Who are these crazy women who look at infant blobs and say, “Ooh! Give me one of THOSE!”
MJ laughed. “When it’s yours,” she said, “everything is different. You’ll still hate everyone else’s babies, but yours will be perfect and adorable. And you won’t hate it for needing so much attention.”
I gave her a skeptical look. I’ll never be okay with a newborn baby. My previous assertion is still true — I would like to give birth to a toddler, no matter how much it will hurt. I’m not jazzed at the thought of caring for something that has no personality.
Uncle Doug must be a mind-reader. “It’s great when you start to see their personality. In just a few months, you can tell.” He smiled as he remembered his own babies, over 30 years ago.
MJ was reminiscing, holding an invisible baby by the arms as she talked. “I would look at her, wishing she could talk, and asking her questions. Who are you? What the heck are you thinking? But he’s right.” Here she nodded toward Doug. “You may not realize it then, but once they’re grown up, you’ll see that they started showing that personality when they were just a baby.”
My mother-in-law, sitting next to MJ, described—my husband—who very early on wanted to be on his own. He demanded to be put down so he could explore the world on his own, and his “snuggly baby” stage was pretty short lived. Even now, 42 years later, he resists — okay, actively avoids — hugging his mother. His ‘ew don’t kiss me’ personality started to peek out when he was just a baby.
(I’m not happy about this news. If my baby gets his “no hugging, Mom” gene, it’s a deal-breaker. I snuggle my dog at least two times a day, complete with kisses on his little furry head. And I intend to do the same to my baby, like it or not.)
So babies have personality from Day One (or close to it). Knowing that, and knowing what our baby must go through in order to be born, I hope our baby, who is resting in the freezer at this moment, has one very important trait of my husband’s: tenacity.
She’ll need it.