Bye-Bye Babies

imageI spent the afternoon yesterday with a brand new baby, under a week old. He is my lovely cousin’s boy and he is utterly delightful and perfect in every way.

And I don’t say that lightly. I’m actually not that keen on babies as a rule, or indeed on kids in general. That may sounds ridiculous from someone who has three of her own but I’ve never been a baby-fancier, one of those fanatically broody types who wants cuddles with any baby they can get their hands on. We’ve all met them. They swoon over pushchairs and grab your baby bump, uninvited. They want to hold babies who belong to total strangers and go on endlessly about how precious every moment is, as if you should be relishing each explosive nappy change.

Well, I’m pretty much the opposite of that. Unless a kid is related to me or belongs to a very close friend, I’m really not interested. Bit harsh? Maybe, but I think we can all agree that kids can be extremely annoying and I’m afraid my tolerance of and interest in them is minimal, apart from a very select few.

But new Baby Cuz is one of those few – yes indeed. He is my kin and belongs to someone I love dearly. Plus he is pretty damn adorable, so he ticks all the boxes. I managed to escape my three comparatively galumphing offspring for a few hours yesterday to devote time to cousin cuddles, without my own kids being bored or giving me jealous evils.

imageMy quiet afternoon with a new baby was in juxtaposition to a the celebration we had a few days ago as my youngest child turned two. Yes, Baby T is a baby no more. He has reached the grand old age of two years old and is a proper little person with a lot to say for himself all of a sudden – and he is about a million miles away from the curled up little bundle of Baby Cuz.

T had a brilliant birthday involving all things that a two year old really appreciates. There were balloons, presents and cake in the shape of Thomas the Tank Engine. What more is there in life? He even insisted on wearing his party hat for hours and managed to blow out his own candles without covering the cake in spit. What to go, T!

imagePost birthday, little has changed on the surface. But T is now two. In my head that means the baby game is pretty much over for us. Yes, he is still in his cot and we still have nappies and many baby ways to deal with but the end of all that is well and truly nigh.

My last baby is growing up fast. Our family is complete and I won’t be having any more kids so I won’t ever find myself in that dreamlike place again that I know my cousin is in right now, of being in a post birth haze, with a newly created person in front of you that you never want to stop looking at. I’ll never again experience the amazing pregnancy and birth experience, or that crazy moment that the reality hits you that you now have to look after and bring up a real live human being.

So, baby days are officially over for me. Did that realisation make me sad, as I sat cuddling a gorgeous little baby boy yesterday, marvelling at his newness, smiling stupidly at his every yawn and nose wrinkle?

Nope. Not even for a second.

As I said, I’m no baby-fancier. I’ve well and truly done my time with all that and it is all recent enough for me to remember it in brutal technicolor, not in the hazy way that some parents do a few years down the line.

I’ve had kids aged two and under for over seven years now. That’s enough for anyone, surely, even the most ardent baby-obsessive. I can’t wait for the time when we can leave the house without a changing bag, when we can all go to the cinema together. Basically, I am really looking forward to when Baby T is not such a baby.

I loved my Baby Cuz cuddles more than I can say. He is utterly delightful. But I also loved handing him back and heading home to my boisterous brood, knowing that we’ve moved on. You can have too much of a good thing, after all, especially when the good thing is accompanied by such intense sleep deprivation.

I will always remember my time with my three newborns incredibly affectionately, but I hope I’ll also always remember it as it really was, warts and all, and that I don’t become one of those annoying baby-fanatics. I think the odds are remote, to be honest. It just isn’t me. After all, other people’s kids are obnoxious, gross and irritating, right?

Mine, of course, are none of those things. If only to me.

image

T, then and now.

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