The first weeks of the Dumpling’s life were delightful; a joy like I have never felt before.
We were thrilled, of course, to have a healthy baby girl. The picture above was taken the day we took her home from the hospital. Josh carried the car seat with our sleeping Dumpling into our apartment. We picked her up and put her right in the crib. We had stared at that crib for months, unable, despite my growing stomach, to fathom that a baby would soon fill it. But, here was the moment. Here was our baby fast asleep in that very crib. I could not believe it was actually happening. I cried. I was so overjoyed and proud of her. I still look at that picture and remember that feeling of total overwhelming gratitude and emotion.
No one ever talks about how hard it is to care for a newborn. They’ll make passing remarks here or there about challenges with sleeping or crying. But, no one will dare elaborate on just how difficult it is to spend day and night for months caring for a tiny, crying, pooping, peeing blob. That is, until you are in possession of your very own blob. Once you have the baby, suddenly everyone who has a kid creeps up beside you and whispers, “It gets better,” implying they knew how hard it was all along but chose not to say anything because they are into sick jokes. Continue reading
I heard it’s best to start with a plant.
A small plant, like an Asparagus Fern. I would always have an ice breaker for guests by explaining that despite the name, my plant does not grow asparagus and is not part of the fern family, but a perennial herb. The Asparagus Fern needs to be watered, placed in the shade and stored at around 70 degrees. I was told that being able to take care of a plant is the first step toward becoming an adult.
My Asparagus Fern died. I forgot to water it and let the sun pour in through open blinds.
Step two toward adulthood is owning an animal. I skipped this step since the thought of rushing home to walk a pet, clean a litter box, or just keep a pet company did not fit my lifestyle. I only wanted to worry about myself.
A while after my Asparagus Fern died and I didn’t get an animal, I got married. Now I had to worry about two people. It turned out my husband, Josh, also had to be watered, placed in the shade and stored at about 70 degrees. Luckily, he could do these things for himself. I did have to rush home to keep him company. Well, I didn’t have to. I wanted to. So, my life remained fairly carefree.
Soon after we got married, we had a baby girl. I’ll refer to her as the Dumpling. She needs to be watered way more than the Asparagus Fern, placed in the shade and stored at about 70 degrees. She also needs a lot of company. But, I don’t mind, even though things are not so carefree anymore. Maybe the lesson is that it’s best to start with a baby. Maybe now I’m ready for a plant and cat.