For almost 9 years now I’ve been changing diapers. Today I changed no less than 5 stinky diapers. As I ponder this, I think of my friends who are about to have babies and can’t help but laugh. They have no idea. 70+ diapers a week. 280 diapers a month. Diapers and poop. It’s a parent’s job. And why? Because we all hope one day that when we’re in the same situation, someone will help us. Oh yeah. Old people diapers. My kids better want to change my old people diapers with love. After all the poop I’ve dealt with over the last 9 years. 4 kids worth. That buys me some future diapering.
Seriously though. I have fought with Bug for the last few nights because he doesn’t want to sleep. There are a myriad of reasons for this. He took a late nap. He took too long a nap. He is hungry. He is teething. He is gassy. He doesn’t want to sleep. It’s 3am and someone, somewhere is awake. Crying is more fun late at night when your parents are trying to sleep. Whatever the reason, he won’t sleep. And it makes me think of all those who have toddlers, babies, or almost-babies. I know a lot of people with all three stages of humans. Some of them adopted their toddlers thinking “ooh having a kid is fun” and not really thinking “ooh, having a toddler isn’t so fun sometimes” or “oh my goodness I didn’t realize this model could make such a smelly mess” or “wait a minute, kids don’t just sleep like grown ups?” or “how the heck did the kid get hold of that thing I had put way up there that wasn’t for kids but I didn’t think that through and didn’t realize all toddlers were Spiderman”. Having a kid is fun. Having a whiny, clingy toddler is not. Or a fussy, over-tired baby. Or a newborn baby when it’s your first kid and it’s 3am and you have no idea why in the world the thing is still crying and you’re ready to scream and pull your hair out and wonder, even if for the briefest second, if there’s a return policy on this thing. Nah, you don’t. But you do call your mom. I did. I’ll admit it. With Peanut I was the most scared person on the planet. Clark Kent and I seriously brought her home and sat her car seat down on the floor and stared at her for at least 30 minutes because we didn’t know what else to do with her. “Okay, now what?”
I have at least 3 friends who are expecting. One “any day now”, one in August, and one December-ish. None if them have any idea what’s about to happen to them. I’ve been honest. I’ve told them what no one wants to tell them. Anyone who ever tells you that child birth “isn’t really that bad” fits into one of the following categories: 1) They had a c-section and honestly don’t remember the post-op pain 2) They are 50+ years old and had their baby under a “twilight” ether-induced coma and so no, it probably wasn’t that bad or 3) They are just flat out lying to you because the truth sucks. Feels like you got hit by a truck sucks. I don’t lie. It’s a whirlwind of “what the heck is happening to me” and “did I really just make that” all at once. Every time I look at my kids I think “holy cow, God let me make that” (further evidence that God either has a huge sense of humor or thinks way higher of me than I can ever imagine). I laugh now, knowing that they too will have that moment when the nurse says “can you get up? We need you to go to the bathroom.” And they, too, will laugh out loud at the crazy person standing over them, fairly certain they will never use their legs again and crying at the very idea of having to do anything else regarding something exiting them. It’s true. Then they’ll take the baby home and stare at it. Because that’s what you do with the first.