My mouth would water to see the full-time school-kids’ uniforms. I’d be like, “Wow, those parents have babysitting for half the day, totally guilt-free and practically free at ₹1650 a month per kid!.”
Wanting to be with a clingy, demanding and whiny baby, merely because “their heels are so soft!”, or “their sleeping forms looks so angelic”, didn’t come naturally to me. In fact, wanting to be with my babies was a feeling that never showed up at all. Now, getting them bathed and dressed up for a beautiful photograph, something with results: that I loved.
Teaching them so they’d do well on a school paper (and not end up writing from left to right and bottom to top like they were writing in Urdu or Chinese) — this felt good and useful too.
However: rocking a cranky baby to bed while waiting for help to arrive — a spouse, a grandparent, a maid, anybody! That was not fun and I shudder to see anybody dealing with this.
I would never greet a stranger dealing with a kid throwing a tantrum in a supermarket with “You’re gonna miss this.” I would mentally think, “oh, that poor new mom. Don’t worry, darling, there’s light at the end of this tunnel, in the form of a school uniform!”
I mean: there’s a reason why angelic babies in TV and film are usually twin babies, of which only one is filmed at a time. The other one is concurrently raising Cain!
So what DO I miss, about the kids being babies? Because love ‘em or hate ‘em, by definition God makes babies lovable so that we don’t smother them to stop their wailing.
I miss the time when my husband and I would give each other a look, past midnight, when the baby woke just as we were about to go to bed ourselves. We’d pick up The Baby, lock up the house with his sleeping parents in it, and get out of the driveway ever so quietly so as not to wake them.