Friday, September 05, 2008

My Biggest Fear

I wear white after Labor Day. I don’t always wear a seat belt. I block delivery driveways on occasion. I don’t always feed the meter when I run an errand in town. I jay walk when crossing the street if there is no traffic. I speed up instead of slow down when I see a yellow light. If I’m in the middle of nowhere and no one is around, I sometimes run the stop sign. I go out in the middle of winter with wet hair. I eat raw cookie dough that contains eggs. I wash my colors and whites together in cold water. Sometimes I park on the wrong side of the street. Yeah, you can say I like to live on the edge. Be exciting and daring. A modern day rebel, well, at least as much as I can be in my small town. One might even say I’m fearless. I mean, lets not forget I AM a fugitive.

So since I am so daring, unafraid, and basically laugh in the face of danger-- what’s the one thing that can cause me to curl into a fetal position while rocking back and forth crying for my mommy? (Cue scary Jaws music here) Its babies! Yes, babies. Teeny tiny little creatures who cry and scream for unknown reasons; creatures who projectile vomit across rooms, creatures who are prone to explode with hazardous waste at any given moment. Yes folks, babies scare the shit out of me! We all know I know very little absolutely nothing about birthing babies. Turns out I am terrified of them. I mean terrified as in I would rather face a rabid grizzly bear (can grizzly bears be rabid?) out in the middle of a secluded jungle surrounded by 12 foot pythons terrified.

Late last week, my friend mentioned bringing her baby over so I could finally meet him. With in-laws visiting from out of town, an eager attentive grandmother, and various other relatives I had yet to see her beautiful little boy live and in person, instead I was introduced to him via her Myspace and Facebook pages, where I could coo and comment about his sweetness from the safety of my own home.

The closer the visit came, the more apprehensive I became. I begged my mother to be in attendance so that she would be there to actually hold the baby so I could coo and say how cute he was from a safe distance away. She assured me she would be. Yesterday (the day of the visit) I was so nervous, I almost couldn’t function. I was worried about having to actually hold the baby, like in my arms, and not drop him. (Coincidentally, I dropped nearly every damn thing I picked up yesterday from my car keys to my stapler.) I was worried my friend would be offended that I didn’t like her three week old son if I didn’t hold him, since our friendship is still not where it was before, I didn’t want to damage all the work we had done thus far. I sent my mom no less than 35 emails throughout the day reminding her that she needed to come straight home after work so she could be there for the arrival of my friend and her baby.

When the moment came and I heard my friend’s car door slam I wanted to go hide in my bedroom, pull the comforter up over my head and pretend like I wasn’t there. Instead I met her at the door and my dog who gets overly excited any time someone comes in, gave me the excuse of going outside and regrouping after seeing the teeny tiny bundle of terror in his car carrier thing. I gave myself a pep talk. (Yes, Mandy you CAN do this. He weighs 10 lbs, how scary can he be? You can do this, you’re an adult, and he’s just a baby. He’s JUST a baby.) Really you would have thought I was trying to psych myself up to walk across a bed or nails or shove a flaming sword down my throat instead of just walking into the house that now contained a baby. After a few more minutes of attempting to reign in my petrified self, I mustered up the courage to go back through the door.

There was no crying, no projectile vomiting, and no hazardous materials being exploded; instead I saw a beautiful little baby boy contentedly snuggled in my mom’s arms. He has long fingers and feet, a little rounded head covered with blonde peach fuzz, and dark blue eyes just like his momma (when she wears her blue contacts). My mom swore he smelled just like a new baby should smell (kind of like new car smell I guess?) and that he was perfect. Since my mom’s had a few go arounds with the whole baby thing I took her word for it and settled in across the room and my friend proceeded to catch us up on her life as a mom. It was a great visit. I even attempted to awkwardly hold the little guy for point oh five seconds until he scrunched up his face and let out a wail as he was being transferred into my arms which immediately prompted me to pull back and retreat to a safe distance away. Babies can smell fear I tell you!

Near the end of the visit my mom asked my friend her thoughts on motherhood. My friend cast her tired eyes to her newborn and said that while she still couldn’t believe that such a tiny little being could wreak such havoc on her life that she was completely and totally in love, would do anything she could within her power to keep him safe, and wanted only the best for him. My mom shook her head in total agreement as if the words were only something a mother could understand. I shook my head too, because I do understand and I do get it – that’s exactly how I feel about my dog.

The rest of the visit quickly passed and soon my friend and her baby were on their way. While he did cry, there was no projectile vomiting or anything of that sort. I still have absolutely no maternal instinct and will not be baby sitting the little tater tot anytime soon, at least not until he is somewhat mobile and can use the toilet, I hear that takes a few years. While I am still terrified of babies, I think next time I’ll be able to be in the same room with one without hearing the scary Jaws music running through my head, I mean, I hope I don’t. I’m pretty sure it will be awhile before I find out.


Andy said...

Because I do understand and I do get it – that’s exactly how I feel about my dog
LOL!! I'm still laughing...

I LOVE babies. They're sweet and all, but let's say I am not sure about being a mother myself. It's OK if I have them, for, like 15 minutes and then afterwards give them back to their mothers.

But my own? Mmm, no. Not for a long time. Until I develop mother instinct.

Beya said...

Oh, you will make a great Mother!!! They really are rather strong. I will save this for the future, and mail it to you when you are a mother!!

Cameo said...

Yes, Beya WILL actually do that! She did that with me and two of my cousins. We had to write down what we wanted to do with our lives. I was 12 when I wrote it and Beya gave it to me about a year ago. She had saved it all these years. Anyway, imagine Trina and my panic when she found out she was pregnant with Asa. Neither one of us had ever babysat or been around a baby in, oh, EVER! Never. Not once. Now she was having a baby?! WTF? You'll have to ask sissy (or maybe she's already told you) about how it was when Asa was born, but for me, it was the oddest thing, it was just so NATURAL! It's like I just knew what to do. Then when I had Valentina? Ha! That's when I felt so helpless and worthless. I think the key is to be an aunt, not a mom, LOL. No, I wouldn't trade being a mom for ANY amount of money. Hell, I PAID to do it, and paid through the nose! Best money I ever spent, although it took me a solid 3 months (after the 9 1/2 it took to actually get her home) for me to realize it. And I felt the same way about my cats too. I actually made mom call them her grandcats. Now? We're just waiting for their last bag of cat food to run out. They are both on their 9th life. So, when you getting knocked up?

Mandy said...

Andy -- I agree and yes, that is how I feel about my dog! LOL.

Beya -- Ok, but I'm not too sure about the mother thing....

Cameo -- you mean knocked up as in pushing a child thru my hooha? Too painful for me. I do think they key is to be an aunt...well for me anyway.

I'm Frank said...

You should've seen my expression the first time Rachel put Diana in my arms. I was a mix between sheer panic and unspeakable joy.

Bayjb said...

Just so you know, babies can smell fear. I am the same way around them but all you can do is let them know who is in control. They rely on you for everything so just do the best you can and then hand them back to mom :)

Mandy said...

Frank -- The sheer panic I've experience, the unspeakable joy not had that yet...atleast in reguard to a baby.

babyjb -- the handing them back to mom is the best part!