The Good News
Doug and I babysat Dawn’s kids last night. Lilly is now 13 months old and walking like a mini drunk, and Andrew will be three in April and is currently potty-training. We are better at this than we think we are: getting down on the floor to play with trains or stuffed cell phones, explaining why it’s not funny to try to run over your sister in your PowerWheels Mustang, finding clean bottles and formula in the cupboards, walking back and forth in the hallway and singing jibberish to calm a screaming baby.
There were moments last night when I thought, You know… Doug and I might actually make good parents.
There were also moments last night when Doug called the kids “birth control and a half,” but I’m pretty sure they didn’t take it personally.
At the end of the night, everyone was happy: Dawn & Joe were happy because they got to go out and see a grown-up movie; Andrew was happy because he’d gotten spoiled by his auntie and uncle, who love to play, (almost) never scold him, and let him eat Mac&Cheese in front of the TV; and Lilly was happy because mom and dad came home – in the blink of an eye, she went from screaming to dancing on top of the table. (And then Uncle Doug slipped her a dollar.) And we were happy because we’d gotten to bask in all that cuteness for a few hours, and then we got to leave the cuteness with its parents so we could go home and go to bed.
The Bad News
My younger cousin – the one who got married on the same day I did, just so he could forever rub it in my face that my life could be so much different now* – had his baby today.
Usually, I’m happy when people I know actually have their babies, because it means there’s one less pregnant woman in my universe. (Nevermind that at least three more will be popping up any day now, to take her place.) Once the baby is out, I can detatch myself from the idea that it should be me having a baby, because obviously, this just-born baby isn’t mine. Actually, I did feel all those things – the relief, the closure – upon reading the facebook update that my cousin’s son was born at around 1:30 this afternoon, and mom and baby are doing well.
No, the part that made me want to bang my head on the desk happened a few hours later, when another one of our cousins wrote on the new dad’s wall to congratulate him, and actually said, “You beat all us cousins to the punch.”
I thought about protesting; I thought about leaving some comment about how some of us cousins have made an honest effort; I mostly thought about asking my cousin if, now that the baby is out, he would please change his profile picture to something other than that creepy 3-D ultrasound photo.
In the end, I just left it. It’s true: he did beat us all to the punch. But I have to remember that I am the only female cousin – the only one of us that will ever actually carry a child – and there’s something in that distinction, too.
*He doesn’t actually rub anything in my face. He lives across the country, and we haven’t seen each other in years. The comparing of his life with mine is entirely my doing.