In case you are wondering, a 32-week belly bump feels very much like a watermelon – heavy, hard, round, smooth. It’s big enough to rest my empty cereal bowl when I am too lazy to get up and walk to the kitchen sink. It’s where I rest my hands when I stand. It’s where I stare and watch the baby move, kick, and cartwheel. It’s where the crumbs collect when I am eating.
I haven’t read a baby book yet and am wondering if it implies by some standard out there that I have already failed as a parent. I also haven’t packed a hospital bag or bought a crib or made frozen meals to sustain us when the baby is here. I’ve pretty much behaved like the award at the end of these 40 weeks is a trophy for championing how to put on socks and shoes without bending rather than a human baby.
Why am I not afraid? Why am I not nervous? Why am I so oblivious to how my life is about to change? May be having an easy and comfortable pregnancy thus far makes it easier to believe that what’s to follow will also be easy and comfortable. More importantly though, I think it’s because my expectations from my baby are that she will cry a lot, poop a lot, and keep me up all night. She won’t leave me any time to make the bed, or clean the house, or comb my hair. She will make watching The Real Housewives of…totally impossible. I might even have to think twice about splurging on things like vacations, bikes, and books. I have gone over the list in my head many a time and each time I have felt less threatened about losing myself. Instead I feel calm and collected. Babies are supposed to be a lot of work but they can take over your life only if you allow them to.
I plan to unapologetically walk the ailes of the Art Institute with a crying baby and a drool stained shirt admiring the Rothko. Yeahhh..