Saturday, April 29, 2006

"So, would you like to hold the baby?"

My reaction to this question has always been, 'You must be kidding!" Though, I am proud to say I have never actually blurted this out at a proud new mother. I was just thinking this again last week, a friend has a brand new baby boy (quite the cutie) and I am thinking, "Man, I know I have forgotten everything about babies. Please don't offer to let me hold him." She didn't.

I never had the baby-crazies that some women do. I have never touched a stranger's pregnant belly. But I did once watch a co-worker give some lawyer a heart punch for pulling that stunt in the elevator of the Prudential building back in Chicago. (I was so proud of her) The first baby I ever held was my nephew at his baptism. If you see the photo, I look a little stiff. Once I got him I was afraid to change my grip and he was a pretty big baby, too. I had never changed a diaper until the day my daughter was born. I was 35 at the time. I had been pretty proud of that fact until that day, when I realized that there was some skill involved and I really didn't have any of it.

Even in the case of my own children, I knew my limitations. When my daughter was born, they handed me her right after her birth this is what I was thinking: "Isn't there someone here far more qualified and a lot less drugged than I, that can hold this baby?"

Two years later, I held my second baby with just as much uncertainty as the first kid and I realized, "Man, I know I have forgotten everything about babies. Please, someone offer to hold him."

But just this morning, I reached out and grabbed a Bichon out of her mother's arms before I was even sure of the dog's name.

Oh-my-god! I do have that gene; it is just for the wrong species.

No comments: