Lately I’ve been introduced to a lot of blogs written by young mothers. It’s interesting to read about the ups and downs of being a young mom from the perspective of being a grandmother. I find myself wanting to dispense sage (in my opinion) advice or comment, “No, no, no!” But there is one topic that gets me every time and that’s baby fever. Baby fever, for those of you who don’t know, is the nearly overwhelming desire to have a baby. I have baby fever once removed.
My baby-making days are long over. I have one confused egg left and she just wanders around wearing one slipper wondering where she left her glasses. Loud noises annoy her and she’s in bed by 8 o’clock. This is not an egg interested in meeting a nice sperm and settling down to some serious cell division.
But I still have baby fever albeit in a modified way. A friend once said I was the kind of person who loved a good party in the next room. It’s true. I find people very stimulating and fun for incredibly short periods and then the whole socializing effort becomes a bit much. So I want a baby but I want to be able to hand it back after I’ve sniffed its neck and cooed to it for a while.
I realize this is true of almost every grandmother. There are some who would happily steal the offspring of their offspring and keep them forever. I’m not one of those. I don’t have the energy. We have our out-of-state grand kids for a week every summer and, by the time they leave, I’m ready for a 72 hour nap. I barely have the strength to talk to them on the phone. I’m so worn out I bear a strong resemblance to certain characters from The Walking Dead.
Yet I find myself rooting for my kids to have kids so I can have a baby again. I want to change diapers, and rock a tiny bundle as he or she sleeps. I want to feel those itty bitty fingers wrap around my finger. Then I want the parent(s) to take that perfect little angel and go home with it.
When I was a young wife I had baby fever in the worst way. I finally got my prayers answered then, almost too quickly, they were answered again. My boys were born 18 months apart and I was happy as a clam. My oldest boy was as easy a baby as anyone could hope for, leaving me lots of time to follow the second child who was a hurricane before he could crawl.
I loved those days and I really do want to live them again, albeit in a very modified way. Baby fever once removed is tough. You want all the tender, funny, happy moments of being a mother but you want them to go by in fast forward, like a scene in the movie “Click.”
And although I’m not really interested, at all, in having a full time baby around again I do know how the young mothers feel. Babies are incredible creatures. They’re little vessels you can fill with all your love, dreams, and prayers. They can be frustrating but mostly they’re the source of almost all your joy. They bond you to your spouse and to other family members. Babies have repaired broken relationships with extended family and deepened those with family you were close to even before the baby came.
Baby fever is certainly something I can understand. We’re made to procreate. There’s a desire that’s as much physical as it is emotional to produce offspring. And, when we’re too old to have any more children of our own we turn to the children we’ve already birthed and gently say, “So when the heck are you going to give your father and me grandchildren?!” Because, as I said, I have baby fever once removed.
Image courtesy AMC channel