November 13, 2010

I Don't Know What I'm Doing


"No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. 
Parenthood chooses you. 
And you open your eyes, look at what you've got, say "Oh, my gosh," 
and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. " 


I had just taken this fuzzy picture on my cell phone out of stupidity or excitement- I was buying the baby food and classic Gerber spoons in the top of the cart for the baby sleeping below them.

I had sent up her highchair the night before, mostly due to curiosity. I plopped her in the seat and snapped the tray down, and felt a mixture of extreme pride and sadness. Only Amelia can break my heart in such a soft, sweet way. It's hard to believe she'll be 4 months in just a week. Sky and I were talking about it last night, and all I could say was, "I had no idea it would go by and disappear so fast." I already miss the baby she was.

But back to the story- there I was in Walmart, snapping pictures of my cart like an idiot. I had turned the corner to the baby food aisle and was gazing at all the tiny jars in wonder, when a man came up to me. "Excuse me, miss- could you help me with something?" In the back of my head, I mentally went over my outfit and wondered if I looked like an employee, but said yes. "Do you know where the Pedialyte is? I'm an empty-nester now, so I don't really know about this stuff." I smiled at him and we walked towards where I guessed it would be, although I had absolutely no idea either. "I'm just starting out, so I don't know about it either!" I told him.

Pedialyte found, I went back to staring at baby food jars. I looked at the different numbers labeled on them, and tried to remember what I had researched online about which foods were best to start with (banana and sweet potatoes, after a while on rice cereal). It made me think about the irony of it. Apparently, to every shopper around me, I came off like a seasoned mother, shopping for baby food like I do it every week. The truth is, I felt more lost than Mr. Empty-Nester.

There are a few things 'you just know' like people promise you will. There are a whole lot more that have left me completely dumbfounded. My dad asked me what teeth they got first- he told me he thought Amelia was teething (although I hadn't noticed until he told me). I knew what teeth because I had looked it up a few minutes before. Later on that day, he pulled her pajamas aside and said, "Do you think she's wet?" I couldn't tell. How do moms have some kind of radar with diapers? I never got it.

So I probably shouldn't be asked for advice on infant care anytime soon. I am totally winging this whole motherhood thing, supported only by What to Expect the First Year, my mother's advice, and random internet searches.

The only thing I have been able to get down pat is getting Amelia to babble. She gurgles and coos and laughs with me like she does with no one else. I didn't even think 'cooing' should be a word until her, but that's exactly what it is- she grins, locks eyes with me, and gives me the sweetest look I've ever seen- almost like she's in love. I give her the same look back, and we chatter about nonsense together.

That's about the only moment that I know, without a doubt, that I've got this.


P.S. This is the last day to enter my fun giveaway- I'll announce the winner tomorrow night! Good luck!

3 kind comments from you:

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Awe this is so sweet! Of course she's in love. Just like you are in love with her :)

Anonymous said...

hiya - i ended up here through a series of internet misadventures. i just wanted to say that none of us first-time-mommers know what we are doing. but it sounds like you are doing a good job winging it :)

Raychial Smitherzface said...

:-D
hi, my name is Rachel, and "What to expect in the first year" has saved my life.

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