A Child’s View
When I was little, I thought babies were so cute. I mean the idea that they were full-fledged humans seemed almost unbelievable. They came with toes, fingers, and bellies, but on a much smaller scale. Babies were real people, but they didn’t seem like it because they were younger and smaller.
I figured that having a baby would pretty much be like having a doll. Well, more like the high-end expensive dolls. Remember those? The kind that had the silky hair that you loved to brush. Brush and sniff. Mmmmm! Nothing like the smell of Polyurethane. Although inhaling that might have caused us to have inaccurate ideas of motherhood in the first place. And there were some really cool dolls that you could feed. A few years ago I finally got the memo about the dolls that pee! That would have given the six–year-old me a total doll high!
I was the youngest of six children, so the idea of having someone, anyone, around who I could be in charge of rocked my world! I couldn’t wait to get near an infant or toddler. I made a face; they smiled. I made a sound; they cooed. I gave them a bottle; they settled down.
So it was natural for me, beginning at age 11, to babysit to make some spending money. A paper route and mowing lawns just didn’t have the same appeal. Nope. Getting scowls from old men angry that I missed their porch and trying to push a machine around a yard while trying to avoid sticks, thistles, and piles of dog poop was not what I had in mind. Bring on the gibberish and spit up. And I made two bucks an hour. What a gig!
Reminiscing about this made me want to find out what my husband thought about having babies when he was young. He said he really never contemplated fatherhood. He conceded that maybe it was less of a thing that boys think about.
“Well, what did you think about as a kid?” I pressed him.
His answer? “Being a football player.”
So what changed since those early days? I found out that real babies pee (and poop) a lot. They don’t always smile when I smile or coo when I make soothing sounds. Parents work for way less than two bucks an hour. But there is something so endearing about the smell of a brand new baby. It’s much more appealing than plastic dolls. And way better than a football player.