The sound of a child’s laughter. Holding the little fingers with your giant ones. Everyone knows the wanna-be-mom. You know– the ladies who dream not of Jeannie, but of swaddled puke machines. No disrespect to these women, my mom was also in the club: to these women, having babies = having fun.
I am not one of these women.
Kids are great, don’t get me wrong. I babysat most of my childhood (other kids, not myself) and even was the Children’s minister for a brief stint at my church. And though I want my own someday, that doesn’t change my expression when I find myself in the company of miniature humans. Sheer terror.
My future sibling in-laws came to town and left Arya in her Uncle and future Aunt’s care. Robbie and I would be babysitting.
When my future niece’s parents left that evening, Robbie just patted my shoulder. “I’ll teach you what to do.”
Okay. First of all: stereotypes. The dude in the relationship is the baby whisperer and I tremble when a kid locks eyes with me.
To me, this kid is a ferocious dinosaur with no teeth. I am rendered immobile.
Arya was supposed to go to bed. But sleep did not come. As I painted wedding cake toppers, Robbie bounced her around the room. She would grab his beard and smile. At a point, he told me to play with her while he used the bathroom.
My pleading eyes looked at him, “but she will cry!”
“She’s happy, Em. Don’t worry about it.”
He left. She looked at me. She burst into tears.
This did not instill much confidence in his baby-training.
Robbie came out of the bathroom found me one step away from joining the waterworks.
He consoled the baby and his future wife.
“It’s okay, Em. You’ll get it.”
Arya was put to bed (not by me, of course) and the wailing continued for twenty minutes. When Robbie came out of the room, we watched a movie with subtitles. It’s like watching a foreign film… but in English. And while the dark sky floated in, the silence was shattered by the babe smaller than my dog.
Arya was awake again.
Robbie rocked her, walked her, and talked her through the night but the cries continued on and on and on and on. Streams of tears flowed down her cherub cheeks and, true to form, every time she looked at me, she cried even harder. (Methinks she wanted to see her blonde-haired mother as opposed to her black-haired Auntie)
Robbie was the picture of patience. Nothing could shake the man. As Arya lay in his arms (sobbing), I turned on some music and instantly she stopped. Song two I decided to join along and hum to the tune and her giant blue eyes looked up at me. No waterworks. Not a single tear. We continued this for a few songs and each time, her little head stretched up to look at me. My heart melted.
On the same token, I also felt relieved the moment my brother and sister-in-law to be entered my apartment. I may be terrified of having children and if/when we ever do join the masses, I will probably be even more terrified. But I’m thinking those little moments of genuine sweetness is the sucker for all of us.