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Alright, I’m going to make another attempt at the kids entry. Tempting as it is to simply bliss out to Folk Implosion and reminisce about a young and impressionable Chloe Sevigny, I will not be discussing the film. So, I don’t have a lot of true experience with kids. I mean, I’ve been involved with them professionally, but nothing beyond that. Sad, broken kids who ensure continued employment in my field and practically sign my paychecks are a great topic, but not really where my thoughts are today. I’m thinking more about young kids, a.k.a. babies. I’ve got as much experience with babies as they do with absolutely anything. We’re equals in that way. Yet I am so damn uncomfortable around them. I think this stems from the fact that a) I have never had any; b) No one in my family who is on schedule to reproduce (recent marrieds, irresponsible singles, etc.) has any.

I have had to rely almost solely on my friends’ offspring to get my feet wet in the baby pool. One of the weirdest things about babies is what happens just prior to their arrival. A whole gaggle of women has to convene at someone’s sister’s house and eat potato salad and chit chat. This chit chat should be considered obscene by most standards of lunching ladies, but no, these usually demure matrons rip into it with gusto. Talk of dilation, contractions, and incisions is bandied about casually. Most of these discussions then segue into what I like to think of as the “fish story” portion of birthing talk-- recitations of birth weight and length. My golly: I don’t ever want to hear myself say, “He was 7 pounds, 5 ounces” unless I am referring to a Thanksgiving turkey of whom I was particularly fond.

Then, everyone sits in a circle and lets forth rallying cries of “awww” as gifts for the impending baby are opened. Actually, it’s the younger set that does this. The older women have to insert comments like “Wouldn’t that have been nice to have when Melissa was a baby” when mommy-to-be opens some incredibly complex bottle warmer-cleaner-emptier-filler-complete-irradication-of-the-need-for-breasts-at-all (Man! How about that!) contraption. For only the second time since I cringed my way into the baby megastore to look for the appropriate gift I am struck by just how much crap baby will need to be comfy. No wonder you have to suffer through these functions. It is usually around this time that I start to pick at the carpet and wish I had spent a little more time in selecting my gift. Having “Good Night Moon” immediately on hand at birth seems a lower priority than I had previously thought.

However, I am starting to think that the baby accoutrement marketing blitz starts young these days. A good friend of mine’s fiancé (I prefer affianced, but who’s counting?) works at a superfine toy store that is huge. Once, we were walking around and he was showing me the latest line of slime products and, woops, we made a wrong turn into the baby doll department. I like the dolls that barf and poop and wail and are basically little plastic people that you can throw at the wall when they really start to get on your nerves. The weird thing though, was the amount of accessories that were available to the 6-year old maternally inclined set. Diaper bags, bottles, blankets, strollers. What kind of fun is that? “Happy Birthday, honey! Go play with your new changing table!” Someone should market a play set that includes a box of Luckies, a laundry hamper, a Soap Opera Digest, and a rumpled housecoat. Let’s play mommie!

After the gift ritual, I generally start to loose interest in the shower scene. I look around and realize I can’t go grab my friend and have a smoke on the porch and laugh about her mom’s choice of footwear because (gulp) she and her mother are huddled around a pile of teensy pajamas, seemingly entranced. I head for the box of wine and wish, wish for something stronger as the realization dawns that things are not/will never be the same.

This bittersweet reverie is broken two months later when the baby actually arrives. Suddenly, things are looking up because there is an actual baby hanging around who totally goofs on the psychedelic crib mobiles that spin around so intoxicatingly and grabs your fingers and generally reacts to any and all stimuli. Babies are a little bit disconcerting because they have a constant drool beard going and inexplicably cry when you are finally feeling less than completely absurd sitting and holding one. But I think they are ok, or at least the few I’ve met so far.

I actually only have two friends who have babies (Yah! Did you think I was in the mommy track years or something?) and I just visited one this past weekend. Which is, I suppose, why I am thinking about it. Or maybe it’s the birthday thing—but ONLY the fact that I was thinking about being born myself, not as far as anyone else is concerned. As if. Seriously, babies may be quite nice, but they require so much attention. Pets suffer, and so do visiting friends. They are constantly thrusting themselves into the center of MY circle of attention. They better watch it.

reflect - reinvent ....rayclaire@gmail.com... what i used to think... what i hear... what i see... where i'd like to be...

the black apple... the girl who... sarah brown... thunderpie... evany... jenny b harris... posie... claude le monde... artsy... fartsy... jeff... random person in texas... another rachel... smitten kitchen... more of me... still more of me... even more of me...and yet still more of me...more of me but not for free...

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