As a toddler I had a rag doll baby. I don't remember what her name was and I wouldn't have remembered her at all if it weren't for the picture, which stirred the memory of bathing her in the powder blue toilet. By the looks of the doll in the picture I was up on the latest hairstyles of 1968 and updated her look to a Rosemary's Baby pixie. The ragdoll is naked because - I vividly remember this - I put her lacy dress on the cat.
I moved on to Barbie soon after and never wanted babies until much later. I turned 30 with a newborn and a two year old. I was surrounded with all things baby, complete with dual carseats in a Volvo. Special catalogues kept coming for all baby related disaster prevention, from impossible to remove outlet covers, latches to prevent pinched fingers or lifting the toilet seat to special stroller coffee holders. I bought a plastic VHS insert to protect the thing from toddler hands or a sandwich, a foam visor to prevent dreaded water from touching their faces while shampooing, plus the giant padded tub surround and a dishwasher caddy to sterilize binkies and sippy cup lids. Insanity.
My third baby didn't take. I miscarried at fourteen weeks. My boys knew a baby was on the way and then wasn't. I was in maternity clothes, then I wasn't. I had emotionally committed to a third, was less sad than determined to try again. In just less than a year my boys had a sister. Oh baby.
I was not prepared for the pink. My world was Thomas the Tank, Batman and Robin, Ninja Turtles and Max Steele. Everyone I knew was determined to outfit my daughter in satin, floral & ribboned pink. It was cute at first, but I was blessed, thank you baby Jesus, with a girl who treats Disney princesses like kryptonite. The baby dolls people sent her were put in the closet at her request. She thought they were creepy. She preferred hand me down beanie babies to baby dolls, and pushed Pooh and Piglet in the doll stroller someone gave her. Her favorite clothes were her brother's outgrown jeans and a Pokemon shirt.
So now I'm anti baby, as in, 'don't make me a nana'. Not yet. Just give me a good fifteen years please. I put economy sized boxes of condoms in my sons college survival boxes. I suggested Planned Parenthood when a GF became part of our world. My daughter starts high school in the fall, so the appropriate healthy conversations are on going. She's been paying attention. Oh baby.
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