I know I’m not the only one who can’t believe that freshly birthed babies aren’t followed down the birth canal by an owner’s manual—in fact, Josh recently pointed this out. And it makes me wonder if Mother Nature is just lazy, or if she has a really inconvenient sense of humor: “I know what could make this more entertaining for me: let’s say I invent newborn twins with colic and then we watch those yokels tap dance! Yeah!”
Seriously–how does a hospital, in good conscience, discharge 6 pounds of poop mechanism to doe-eyed parents, with no instruction handbook, and just let them walk out with her? I wonder that, still. My baby turned seven years old recently, and I still can’t believe that a) we kept her alive this whole time (!!), and b) the hospital trusted us to keep her alive. We’re clueless! We know nothing about caring for the well-being of a baby human! We’re lucky we can remember our names AND brush our teeth all on the same day! We kill hardy houseplants! We let fish expire in this expensive (yet quite pretty) aquarium! After thirty years, we have yet to whip up a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese without having to read the directions first! (But hey, at least Kraft includes directions—am I right?)
And that’s the BEST case scenario—apparently bringing home twins born four weeks premature is a piece of freakin’ cake. I went home with fewer instructions for the twins than I did with my first child. I would have appreciated the discharge nurse at least saying—in her most sage voice—“may The Force be with you” as we left the building. But nope. They let morons like us drive away with these tiny humans and then they probably go home and chuckle at their twisted senses of humor, in the relative silence of their own homes, with their wine and bonbons and new episodes of How I Met Your Mother that they don’t even have to DVR because hey—they can watch television in real time because they sent all the loud kids home with me! Patooey on that, I say—patooey!
Granted, some of us aren’t clueless when it comes to raising children. Don’t get me wrong—I’m totally the clueless one here. But I’m talking about my wiser, more Mormon friends. Have you ever met a postpartum Mormon who couldn’t soothe a teething infant as she balances two other kids on each hip while whipping up an amazing venison stew in between hemming pant legs and sewing curtains? Some of us feel like we’re reinventing the wheel when we are doped into bringing an infant home. We fumble around and pray the baby never notices that we have no idea what we’re doing, and hope our Mormon (or Irish Catholic) neighbors never catch onto our stupidity. And then we spend the next 17 years sighing in relief that we made it past that first year—while our more seasoned peers purposefully raise their children with such adeptness that it’s no longer a puzzle why some of us are commanding a NASA space mission while the rest of us are getting our warm tongues stuck to icy telephone poles.
What is the point of this rambling? Oh, nothing–just reminiscing about the grudge I hold against my obstetrician for not delivering an owner’s manual with the children, and then feeling envious of my Mormon friends who seem like they know what they’re doing. But the good news is that I am allowed to drink more adult beverages than both of those parties, so who’s the sucker now? Hint: still me.