Wow! Wren is one month old today! One whole month! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that I have been a mother to two children for one month! It’s flown.
I have mentioned before that the newborn stage of life is probably my least favorite. I know that there are going to be people who can’t believe it and are going to hate me for saying it, but there it is in black and white on the computer screen and even though I could simply delete it, I’m not going to. It’s there, so I’m going to deal with it.
Newborns, those floppy necked wonders that we can’t help loving even though they puke and pee on us daily. Have you ever sat and thought about it? Have you ever sat and thought about how inadequate the human newborn is? It boggles the mind. They can’t do a DAMN thing! Not one damn thing!
Here I’ll prove my point, as if it needs to really be proven: I once watched an IMAX movie on the animals of the Serengeti! Oh man, do I wish Vermont would get an IMAX theater! The movie was following a herd of wildebeests, yup a whole movie about wildebeests. March of the Wildebeests. Anyway, they showed a wildebeest calf being born and the man with the British accent (why are they always men with British accents???) narrating it said that if the baby was not walking in five minutes, the mother would have to abandon it to keep the rest of the herd out of danger.
I hold my newborn daughter every night and I have to help her to pass gas. She can’t even fart on her own. She. can’t. fart. She can’t burp without me pounding on her back for a half hour. She can’t hold her head up or control her hand movements. I have to keep her nails trimmed all the time so she doesn’t gouge her own eyes out! Her OWN eyes! If I set her on her back, she’s staying there. At a month old, she can’t even roll over to change her view. Nope, she’s like a turtle on it’s shell waiting for some good Samaritan to drive by and flip her over. She can’t do a DAMN thing! Not one DAMN thing! She can’t even smile right now!
Why do we do it? Why do we care for these things that ordinarily nature would just say “Ha! Nope! Too much work! Look, you need to just ditch that thing so we can get our lion lunch butts outta’ here.” Why do we put up with the sleepless nights and the pounding out of farts everyday? Why?
At 2AM sometimes I find myself thinking all of these things. At 2AM I find myself wondering if I can hack it again, when some days I feel like I just barely skirted by with Henry during this age. But then you have to think… why does the wildebeest leave her baby if it can’t walk? Because that animal’s mind and goals are completely different than humans. Shocker of the century! That wildebeest is only concerned in those five minutes, which is the extent of a wildebeest newborn stage, of taking care of number one. Yes, she wants her baby to survive, but with limits. I love you, but if you slow us down, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ditch your butt.
Our kids do nothing but slow us down. They walk at their own pace, eat, if at all, at a glacial speed and force us to take each moment as it comes. Newborns slow us down the most. Maybe that’s why I have the hardest time with this age, because I’m forced to slow down and just be.
Human beings have the ability to see the bigger picture. We are aware of time and our own mortality. We think about our children’s survival, but also their emotional well being. We worry about them being accepted in life and finding their way. We think and feel everything about our families and so, maybe that’s why we do it. Just as the wildebeest has the instinct to leave their children for the greater good, we have the instinct to stay for their good.
It’s an instinct that I’m happy I listened to with Henry and now with Wren. But… let’s all be honest parents… some days you look at your child as they’re screaming at you because you made them the wrong kind of breakfast and you think, maybe there’s something to this wildebeest thing…