Are you serious?

Have you SEEN a baby? Held one of those wiggly things? Tried to care for one for an extended period of time?

Yesterday I had lunch with two friends, one of whom has a set of adorable ~8 week old twins, one boy and one girl. They decided to be born early, so they’re playing catch-up in the growing arena, but they are all caught up in the poop department. As the 3 of us girls nibbled on our pizza slices and gabbed happily about home improvement projects, one of the twins let loose one of those long, bubbly/squirty noises that can only mean “The Baby Just Shit Up His Back.”

The mom started laughing and raised her arms over her head in a sign of victory. “Ohhhhhhh, yay!” she exclaimed.  I can’t do the moment justice, but her mock celebration of the treat waiting for her in the little guy’s poop-catcher was pretty funny. She takes the little surprises in stride and never complains — she’s totally one of my Mom Models (the ones I want to be like when I am a mom).

These aren’t my friend’s babies. Despite this fact, I find them just as terrifying. Even putting them next to a 2-liter of my favorite pop won’t change that fact (that said, the pop should be Mt. Dew if they hope to even come close).

Sometimes I get myself into baby-caring situations I cannot escape. A few weeks ago, when I was in Des Moines to help my mother move, I begged off from a rug-shopping trip and instead babysat my sister’s kids while she went with Mom. My nephew, the younger of the two, is 7 months old. He’s at a point where he can hold his own bottle, but he’s basically still a non-communicator, albeit a more sturdy one than the newborn version.

I only watched him for about two hours, but I think I called my sister four times in that short span, frantically asking questions:

  • “How do I know when he’s done pooping? Will he beep or something?”
  • “How much rice cereal do I put in the bottle? Do I need to shake it?”
  • “He’s all whimpery and I keeps sticking everything in his mouth. What should I do?”
  • “What kind of toys does he like to play with?”
  • “I fed him peanuts and eggs, is that okay?”

(Just kidding about that last one — though I did get in trouble the week before for feeding him a little nibble of the yellow deliciousness inside my deviled egg — she went a little nuts on me, but I figure I did them a favor. Now they know he’s not allergic to eggs.)

Soon, my sister returned and I was done with baby duty. It was a relief — those were the scariest two hours of my life. Well, maybe not the absolute scariest, but they were pretty frightening. Just me, alone in a house with two little ones, including one that can’t talk yet.  HOLY. CRAP.

Do I want a baby “sooooooo bad”?  Nope. Not even on my best day. Babies TERRIFY me.

Instead, I want a TODDLER. Can I just give birth to a four year old? Can he come out wearing 4T jeans with the little elastic waist, and scaring me to death by doing flips into the pool and riding his bike downhill before knowing how to use the brakes? And can he come out sleeping through the night?