Babies, babies everywhere. So cute and snuggly and adorable, and best of all, none of them belong to me.
Seems like everyone I know is having a baby or a grandbaby these days. It's possible that I only think this because Facebook has made it so babies are photographed at every stage from conception on. OK, I'm kidding, but only sort of. The minute there is an ultrasound picture it hits my news feed, and nine months later we get the baby's first pics. I like to call these pictures "baby torture.” We've all seen them. The naked baby in a bucket lined in burlap in an endless field of wheat with his feet by his ears. That just seems mean to me, but I try and assume it's Photoshop and not possible dislocation of hips.
One of my (MUCH) younger friends is having her first baby, and I promised that I wouldn't terrify her with the truth about childbirth and babies, so instead here is a partial list of heavily edited baby truths.
1. Prepare for humiliation. You no longer have a private part of any kind when you are pregnant. When you deliver, 10 strangers (hunting companions of the fathers, student docs, anyone who just walks by and wants to peek) will watch you do miserable things. But you won't care, don't worry. Instead you will hold out hope that they are there to help you in some way.
2. Babies need NOTHING. Well, almost. Diapers, some clothes, that's it. Baby showers should be when the baby hits preteen age and they need iPads and Hollister. All those baby toys? Forget it. Give a kid a shoebox, some measuring cups and a pan to bang them on. As far as clothes, they fit into the zero to 3-month clothes IF YOU ARE LUCKY on the day of their birth. The next day, you go up a size. Babies do not need shoes. Jeez. Eighty-dollar Nikes on a baby are kind of silly. That's kind of Kardashian, isn't it?
3. Babies do this amazing thing. They poop so violently that it goes literally from head to toe. Your head to toe if the diaper is off, but theirs if it's on. It's really a wonder of nature. Also, never hold a baby above you, looking down. Like a bird looking for a car to mess on, a baby at some point will manage to vomit into your mouth. Yes, this happens.
4. You will never sleep again.
5. I'm not kidding. You will never sleep again. I'm waiting up for kids to get home at curfew as I type.
6. The word "colic" should be classified under the world’s worst experiences. A colicky baby is basically the same as being waterboarded. Nails down the chalkboard type, never-ending screaming for hours. The hubby and I even rated the colicky screams, "Ooohhh, that one was a ten! My ears are bleeding.” Everyone will tell you to switch formulas, try gas drops, take Xanax … nothing works. It will be outgrown but leaves a scar — for you.
7. You become THAT person. "How old is your baby?" someone asks. "24 months!" you will say — like an idiot. After the 12-month mark, it's OK to go ahead and use YEAR increments.
8. Apparently the bigger the bow, the cuter the baby. But this again falls under baby torture. Ask your chiropractor if the bow is safe for use before you headband it on that pitifully bald head. When the bow exceeds the size of the entire baby, it may be too big.
9. Everyone who has had a baby before you thinks they are experts on all babies ever born anywhere. We had a stranger tell us that our kid was awake all night because he had his days upside down, so what she did was hold her baby upside down, and that fixed it. We didn't try that one. But, we should have (see No. 4 and No. 5).
10. Life gets back to normal. I lied; no it doesn't. But there is a new normal, and besides the humiliation, poop, sleeplessness, trendy pictures and general waste of money that a baby brings, the new normal is pretty awe-inspiring on a minute-by-minute basis. Just don't post those first poo pictures on Facebook. You know who you are...