The Dangers of Nostalgia

I love babies. I never fail to swoon at the sight of some baby-socked feet and a little hand grasping itself like a curled up shrimp. I recently bought baby clothes as a gift and had the best time doing it! There was a lady with a baby in a sling, which sent me into paroxysms of joy.

“Enjoy it,” I always say to new moms adding like a mom-automaton, “It goes so fast…”

In truth in my kids’ lives there were quite a few months when the babies weren’t growing fast enough.

In case you don’t know or don’t remember, my kids are less than a year apart in age. What this means on a practical level is that the first moment I felt better after the first birth (about ten weeks in) I gave my then-husband the come-hither eyes, and since I was ovulating, another zygote was implanted that fateful night.

To be specific, at one time I had a newborn and a less than one year old, a one month old and a thirteen month old, a two month old and a fourteen month old who was still toddling headfirst into construction sites…

You get the idea. But I need to remind myself, every time I get that deceptive tug at the ovaries that tells me I want to spawn another devil, about how it REALLY is, as opposed to that nude, sanitized baby they advertise on the diaper box, the GAP catalog and the Gerber bottle.

As annoying as it was this morning when one of the kids refused to brush his teeth and get into the car, forcing me to take his brother to school and come back for him, I couldn’t help but remember the times when I had to haul them into the car physically to get them to go anywhere. When I had to change whatever mystery was located inside that diaper before I could relieve myself. For roughly two years I wanted time to fast forward so I could go to the bathroom by myself without someone outside trying to use his chubby body as a battering ram.

So I will not make the mistake of thinking things were easier then, than now, or are now more than then. There is no comparing parenthood. Does it get easier, ask the parents of multiple babies? “Yes,” I lie reassuringly, “Of course it does.” But then again, mine aren’t teenagers yet.


  1. My brother and I are Irish Twins..My Mother thought I should do something useful instead of just looking cute. So Richard was mine to take care of the first 15 years of his life. Also help from the Nanny. But that kid was attached to my hip. I felt conjoined. It was my job to make sure he was happy emotionally and secure his personal safety. Hence..I still have the same mind set. It’s my avocation, and my childhood prepared me well for my future.

  2. I was eating dinner last night before the Lady Gaga concert with 4 of my husband’s female cousins. All but one has kids; the 3 who are parents have 8 kids between them, one set of twins. I’m almost 29 and HAVE BABIES NOW seems to have been slipped into everyone’s koolaid. (My mom claims her grandma-cocktail is laced with vodka, so we may be ok here). Just when they had me thinking that the baby thing might not be so terrible, we watched Gaga give birth from a GIANT inflatable v-jay-jay, then she proceeded to birth herself through her own bits. I think my ovaries may have walked off in protest. Great post as always Susanna!

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