I feel like there are a few must-address subjects when blogging about pregnancy. The first few are from the first trimester and tend to focus on how your body is turning on you and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Fast forward to my 18th week. In class today I am going to discuss the moment when you are hit with the ton of bricks that OMG I AM HAVING A BABY AND MY LIFE IS NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME. WTF?
Just to reiterate the critical sentiment of this moment: WTF.
This weekend my Target friend invited me to the grand opening of a new organic baby store in our town that also offers a cloth diaper service. I was more than excited to go because I’d heard some buzz about this place and was anxious to meet some moms in town that had similar interests, plus get to know my new compadre a little more at lunch.
I arrived earlier than my friend and walked into the store. Now, as the place itself was on the boutique-y side, the space was fairly small and definitely not on a Babies-R-Us scale. Therefore, the 40 women PLUS their babies and toddlers who were already there when I arrived packed the place like a can of sardines. I couldn’t really even pass the threshold of the door until waiting a moment for the amoeba of mommies to morph into a shape that would allow me to absorb in.
Everyone seemed to know each other so I just browsed the store as well as I could considering that nearly every spare square inch of floor space was already occupied by toddlers inserting the merchandise in their mouths. But even if many of the products weren’t already tainted with saliva, I probably wouldn’t have even known what they were by handling them. Who knew there is so much stuff you could possibly need when you’re a breeder? And who knew that you’d actually have to do research to decipher the difference between all the options? What is this, college?
I resigned myself to the husband corner of the room to wait for my friend to arrive. Here I was in my element because I felt as shell-shocked as these men looked. Spending one’s Saturday morning at the opening of a jam-packed baby boutique is one of those things that you just have to bite the bullet and do when you knock someone up, but I was nonetheless extremely glad my own hubby wasn’t there because I expect he’d feel even more overwhelmed than I felt at that point and be very vocal about it.
I observed the room from my vantage point:
Moms, moms, moms. All members of the club.
And babies. LOUD ones. Cute ones. Crying ones. Ones that were cute but would soon be crying.
Diapers, diapers, diapers. Diapers EVERYWHERE. Expensive diapers.
Ziploc baggies filled with Cheerios and Cheez-Its procured on demand. And a billion sippy-cups filled with diluted apple juice.
Strollers that all looked the same but whose differences were clear to the trained eye.
Billions of tiny socks that will inevitably not stay on.
Thought: What the hell have I gotten myself into? And who is this little foreigner in my belly that will change everything?
At that moment, my friend arrived with her little one in tow and I felt monstrously relieved that I hadn’t been previously approached by any of the other women there because I know I would’ve choked and denied any affiliation with anyone under the age of 18.
She showed me around, made some helpful suggestions about some of the things in the store that had worked for her, introduced me to some of the moms, then alluded to the fact that the place was quite overwhelming and suggested we go to lunch. I must’ve come across as rattled as I was.
We walked to a nearby Italian restaurant and settled in. At one point, my friend asked me if I would mind holding the baby for a moment so she could take off her sweater. I of course obliged, and the moment I had the tiny little girl in my arms, I immediately returned to that moment as a fourteen-year-old babysitter when I resolved never to sit for any child under the age of three again. I was afraid I was doing it wrong, making her angry, scarring her for life.
The irony of the horror of that moment in the Italian restaurant was not lost on me. It will be ME who is the mommy this time next year, taking it all in strides and hoping that I’m doing it right. It will be me who makes it look so easy when in fact it is so tedious and difficult. Not only will I be well-versed in all the merchandise directed at the parents of babies, but I will actually have preferences and make recommendations.
I’m going to be in The Club.
I want to be in The Club (I think).
It’s just the initiation that’s freaking me the heck out.