Friday, January 12, 2007

On (not) Getting Ready For Baby

We have done nothing to get ready for the baby. Partly because I figure we’ve got plenty of time (more than 4 months to go), partly because I don’t know where we’ll be after it arrives (a possible job change could have us moving across the country within 6 weeks of my due date), and partly because I’m not entirely sure what “getting ready” would entail. The women on the message board are busy picking out baby furniture and painting nurseries, something which is not likely to happen in our house any time soon. It’s an apartment, so we can’t paint anyway, and our spare bedroom is chockablock full of crap like guitars, bookcases, a futon, half-completed craft projects, boxes that never got unpacked from the last move, and anything else we don’t know what to do with. Not only that, but I don’t even have $2,000 of matching furniture and $500 bedding in MY room, why would I do it for someone who’s not even born yet and won’t care about any of it after they are?

I suppose I could buy something other than the one or two clearance-priced outfits we’ve picked up so far, but all my friends and relatives are telling me that we’ll be buried under an avalanche of baby stuff that has been bought, loaned, given, and otherwise transported to our house by well-wishers. There are two fanged, drooling grandmothers waiting in the wings, and we’ve speculated that this could turn into the episode of Mad About You where both grandmothers buy a crib and then get into a fistfight about whose crib should be used.

I do need to sign up for some classes, but I’m not really sure what ones to take. I already know how to take care of a baby; taking care of siblings, babysitting, nannying, and other interaction with kids is something I’ve had plenty of. Max has not has as much, but really how hard is it? You change the diaper, you feed it (although I’ll probably be doing most of it, since my husband doesn’t have the right equipment for breastfeeding), you hold it for a while, it sleeps. When it gets older, don’t let it stick its fingers in electrical sockets, eat small sharp objects, or play in traffic. I already have a pretty good idea what to expect during childbirth, and we have some books for pain-management techniques. I’m not sure we need a bunch of six-to-twelve-week classes to tell us stuff we already know. I suppose I should schedule a hospital tour, so we can make sure the place we have to go to have our baby isn’t the set from Hostel or something.

I think we’re pretty well-prepared mentally, too. I mean, not 100% and all, but we realize that this will be a tiny human being whose every need we’ll have to see to for quite a while. We realize that it will be a person, with its own ideas and will. We realize that there will be fun stuff sometimes, and not-so-fun-stuff other times, and then it’ll be a teenager who slams doors and screams “I hate you!” even though we tried really hard to be sensitive, understanding parents without creating a total brat in the process. I just hope we do a good job.

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