Baby Talk

I am coming to terms with the fact that maybe I am not a baby person.

I adore my child. I love nuzzling his stinky little neck fat rolls and I love the face he makes when I try to feed him something disgusting like applesauce (oh, the horrors!) and I love the hoot he lets out when he realizes he’s going to get boob.  I adore him.

But I don’t adore baby talk and making up baby games doesn’t come naturally to me.  All the things we know Eli loves to do – go under a cave of blankets, talk to the spatula, have his ears brushed with our whispers – we know because his dad found out while they were playing silly games together. I do a lot of things, but I don’t do silly. It’s just not me.

And at first I felt like a really really bad mom because of it. I don’t make crazy screech faces and I don’t vroom cars across the carpet and so I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough.  And for awhile I tried harder to vroom. I worked at silly.  And it just didn’t work.
Lately I’ve realized I do things, I do. I cuddle. I feed.  I give oodles of kisses and lots of pats. I read books and I make Eli promise to always root for the Red Sox and to never smoke cigarettes or vote for Republicans.  I am really good at making sure he is warm enough and he’s clean and he’s safe.  The floors he crawls around on are always clean.  I just don’t have that five year old boy let’s play dinosaurs kind of personality like his father has.  I am so very glad they have each other, now that I think about it. And I am happy to the one who gives kisses and breastmilk.  And I’m also really looking forward to having little kids, after they aren’t babies anymore.  I think maybe I am more of a “make cookies with my five year old and talk about the planets with my seven year old” kind of mom.

Is this weird? I’m kind of thinking lately that maybe we should have another baby just so someone else can take a turn at entertaining Eli.

Not before I get a dishwasher though.  No matter what kind of mom I turn out to be, I will never be the kind that likes doing the dishes.

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7 Responses

  1. I have been having fantasies about 7-year-old conversations lately. In a major way.

  2. I’ve always had a hard time “playing” with my kids. I would much rather talk and read to them. Now that the v-meister is getting a little older, we can totally have some interesting conversations, but, as I posted today, I would pretty much gouge my own eye out rather than play another round of Hungry Hippos.

  3. I think you’re the kind of mom I hope to be. I especially loved the “never smoke cigarettes or vote for Republicans.” Perfect.

  4. Relax, relax. Men play differently with babies than women do (that’s not a sexist statement; it’s supported by research). By just doing and enjoying what comes naturally to you, you’re doing the best thing–modeling a genuine person for your little Eli. Kids have excellent b.s. monitors and he would sense if you were trying to be unauthentic and wonder why. You sound like a wonderful mom to me.

  5. I agree- you’re the kind of mom I would be, I think. I just don’t have the energy levels for roughhousing and running around, and repetitive thing (reading the same story 78 times, knocking down the same stack of legos over and over again, etc.) freaks out the OCD in me. That’s why little boys in general freak me out, and then I feel bad, wondering if I’m not parent material. I am so the polar opposite of hyper-active!

  6. I agree with the others. We can’t be every single thing, just loving and ourselves, then our kids will learn to be themselves. I actually can do “silly” but I can’t sit through a game of Candyland or do the repetitive games–I’m just hoping Melia’s dad will be good at those.

  7. I think that’s a great balance! My husband is able to play much better than I am, too … I’ve finally just had to accept that! He’s much more patient than I am. But I get to kiss boo-boos and make pancakes and cuddle with books. It all evens out!

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