These Are the Days [Or, Thoughts Upon Unboxing the Diapers]


We got the diapers back out earlier this month.  Dug them out of their box in the basement, gave them a good soak, and stacked them right back in the top drawer of what's now Little Miss and the Kid's shared dresser. 

It's been less than a year since we packed them away, but, I'll confess, laying them back out again made me feel like a character in one of those Las Vegas party movies.  You know, where they stumble out of the dark bar after drinking all night and have to squint and cover their eyes at the morning sun?  

Party time is over.  It's about to get real.

I think the feeling also stemmed from the Kid's behavior that particular evening.  He wasn't being bad, per se, just a little manic.  After three hours of trying to keep up with his roller coaster of preschooler emotions, though, Sweet Husband tiredly looked over his head at me as we were finally reading books in bed, "Are we really doing this again?"

The fully gathered-up birth kit sitting in the closet says we are, and soon.

While a lot of this pregnancy has been similar to my first, the head game approaching the end is quite different.  Then, I had a little anxiety about the unknown; now, I have a little anxiety because I know exactly where we're headed.  Or, at least, I have a pretty good idea.

But I've found I can let the worries go much better if I only think about them in little pieces.  Labor?  Meh, it can only go for so long and I can deal.  The first few weeks?  Oh, I'm going to do a much better job of not even getting out of bed for those.  The eventual boredom of maternity leave?  Already stocking up on movies.  The sleepless fog of going back to work?  'Least I'll be able to drink as much coffee as I want to by then.  It's only when I start to think about it all in one lump that I start to get panic-y.  

And then I remember that I get drugs.

Nope, not the epidural-y kind, the oxytocin kind--the pure-grade, natural stuff that shines love all the way out of your fingers and toes for two or three days after you give birth.  I stupidly didn't realize that it would eventually fade away the first time around, so I didn't take time to revel in it.  This time, I'm totally savoring that shit, riding the high for as long as I can.

While the two are not the quite the same, of course, it helps me understand how drug addicts get addicted.  Or how people end up with 20 children.  The relief, the joy, the invincibility, the euphoria--I'll haul diaper laundry up and down our stairs for three more years, gladly, for the warm weight of a newborn on my chest or for just a few whiffs of that delicious baby smell.  

The highs are so very high that you forget those moments of morning-after glare pretty quickly.  Or, at least, they become the stuff of legend, akin to a college drinking war story. "Do you remember the time we made that crazy 'jungle juice' and stayed up all night?"  "Yeah!  I puked the entire next day, but wasn't it awesome?  Those were the days, man!"

That'll be us in 30 years, wistfully watching our kids from afar as they have babies of their own.  "Do you remember when the Kid peed on us every single night for a month?  Or when Little Miss screamed her head off for 3 days straight?"  "Yeah!  Man, those were the days, huh?"