In spite of the many hours I spent working as a babysitter or volunteering at a daycare as a teenager, I would not naturally describe myself as a kid person. There are some people that are just built to adore the smaller members of our species, however I am not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I like some children. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’m pretty much obsessed with Abbey and I like the offspring of our friends, but I don’t really go around fawning over random babies or tykes and I find a lot of them poorly behaved and kind of annoying.
Basically, I think my problem is that I’m not good with dealing with beings that operate without reason and I find their tinyness unnerving. In fact my husband and in-laws will vouch for the fact that when I held Abbey for the first time, I was incredibly uncomfortable because I felt as though the slightest wrong move would bring about a tragic Lenny-esqe disaster Ie. ” I don’t know why her head fell off, I was just stroking her hair!”
I have never been quite sure how I would deal with this fear when I had my own children, but I guess I figured that my smitteness would ensure I would intrinsically know what to do with them when the time came. And the time hasn’t come yet, which is good . . . but I still wonder what it will be like . . .
Last year around Christmastime, I had a moment of uncertainty. I didn’t really think I was pregnant . . . In fact I was 98 per cent sure I wasn’t pregnant . . . but I was feeling unwell and I had yet to have my time of the month so . . . that two per cent made me wonder. That two per cent was enough to instill a little doubt in me, and that evening, when we hit a crappy Toronto bar for my friends’ birthday party, the idea of having a kid tossed over and over in my head.
Could I be pregnant? Should I not be drinking just in case? What the hell would we do if I were pregnant?
While at the bar, we ran into a woman who was pregnant and it was like my fears were staring me in the face. Especially when she started pounding back booze and telling us her doctor said it was okay. That pretty much set my brain into alarm bell territory.
Oh geez, what if I am pregnant? What if I am a horrible mother? What if everyone realizes that I am a horrible mother and then doesn’t tell me? What if I ruined my child with my carelessness? Or what if I ruined them with my neurosis and overthinking? I really do think too much, don’t I? Why do I keep thinking about all of this anyway when I am probably not actually pregnant? I mean wouldn’t I feel that? Wouldn’t I intrinsically know that I was pregnant? What kind of person doesn’t know they’re pregnant, aside from those women on that TLC show? Am I really that dumb that I wouldn’t realize I was pregnant? What if I didn’t know I was pregnant and then had my kid in a Wendy’s bathroom? Oh my God, that would be the saddest thing ever, wouldn’t it? What the hell am I doing worrying about all of this?
As it was, I didn’t drink that evening, but I decided to stop freaking out and take a more logical approach to the situation. I would wait until the date I thought my period should come and if it didn’t come, then I would go to Shoppers Drug Mart and get the big test. And in the meantime, I made myself think about the more awesome aspects of actually being knocked up. Boy and I would be good parents. Judging from our baby pictures, the kid would be pretty cute. I had enough of a support system of pregnant friends that I could get good advice from them. My sister-in-law and I would have kids about the same age. Also, I had always talked about wanting kids. When I was younger, I had in fact been more convinced that I wanted children than I was that I wanted to get married. It had all been very abstract then, but the idea that I could actually be doing it and parenting with a partner I really loved would be amazing.
So over the course of the week, I kind of came to terms with it. It wasn’t something we had planned, but if that two per cent doubt I felt was right and I was pregnant, I could handle it and things would be okay. But almost as soon as I had reconciled those feelings within myself, I realized that I wasn’t knocked up . . . and while 98 per cent of me was relieved, about two per cent of me felt a bit disappointed.
This weekend while we were visiting my in-laws and Abbey, I had a dream that the two per cent doubt I had was on the money and that Boy and I had actually had a kid after all. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but later that morning, I held my niece before we left to go back to the city and when she buried her little shy smiling face against my chest, I realized two things:
1) I wasn’t afraid of breaking her anymore;
2) I actually felt a tiny bit wistful about our non-baby.
I still don’t feel fully ready to have a kid. I’m really enjoying my life in the city with my husband, I am just getting settled into a new job and we’re coming out of a period of financial instability that we still haven’t full recovered from. But I can feel the tides starting to change and I am starting to look at the concept of parenthood with new eyes. I still think I’ve got a little while to go yet before I want to embark on the kid thing, it’s slowly starting to seem like less of a pipe dream and more of a feasible option.
Who knows? Maybe there’s a kid person in me just waiting to be discovered.