Thursday, February 11, 2010

the homely baby

I figured I'd be early on the whole bloggy baby shower thing that EcoGeoFemme is putting together. I'd like to contribute especially because I can see myself in the position that ScienceGirl finds herself in. If I were to have a kid, I would be essentially alone with my partner, in a work environment where field people simply don't have/raise babies, several hundred miles from my own fantastic support system. It would be a little overwhelming.

I am not a big fan of children. Never have been - when I was the age of babysitting, I was simply intimidated. Now I am mostly annoyed by them. And I haven't spent much time with little kids, so I don't have much expert advice.

Except...I am very close to a particular family, and I was close to the kids (10, 12, 14 years younger than I) while we all grew up.

Child number 1 had a terrible time learning to read. She struggled for years. She hated reading.

Child number 2 was a little devil child. She was so picky, her parents said she lived off sunshine, because she spent most of her time burying/avoiding food. She tormented the youngest sibling. She demanded attention. She pinched. She bit.

Child number 3 was a homely baby. Seriously. He looked...lizardlike. For years, he had these oddly huge, wide-spaced eyes and sallow skin. There aren't many pictures of this baby.

These kids have grown up to be utterly lovely young adults - gracious, awesome to hang out with, terrific students, state champions in their particular sports. And child number 3 is model-beautiful.

So hang in there. Babies may be slow to catch up, difficult, and/or homely, but they can still blossom in unexpected ways.


Cannibal Panda said...

It's so funny that you say you don't particularly like kids- as I was the same way. I never would babysit because quite frankly, kids gave me the heebie geebies. Then when my b/c failed and I had my first child, things changed. (Sort of- I still don't particularly care for other people's children). She (kiddo #1) really intimidated me, and I will never forget looking over at the glass bassinet (in that open-ward Army hospital with only curtains for privacy) to see these big black eyes staring back at me. Intently.

She was a challenging child, but mostly because I was so young when I had her- I hadn't even grown up myself. Our personalities are pretty similar, except she didn't inherit my faults so I admire her ability to handle certain situations with ease. The youngest is similar to her except with too much testosterone. (Probably not a good mix). The middle two are irish twins and can be like sharks in bloodied waters if you don't have your wits about you. Not in a bad way, just that I'm quite often the butt of their jokes.

I don't regret having them, but had I not married as rashly as I did and instead finished school, I know I most likely never would have had children at all. I'm glad I missed that turn off, as I cannot imagine life without them. The sacrifice now is that I am living my life in reverse. (Kids then academics...) Not sure which order is harder.

ScienceGirl said...

Ha-ha, thanks for the reminder that childhood characteristics may have no bearing on what that child grows up to be. Although of course I will think my baby is perfect no matter what she does ;)