I never expected to like the newborn state of parenting, and I never really expected to like the tiny infant stage of parenting, either. I didn't expect to like those parts because I don't really like babies. Yeah, sure, babies are fascinating in theory, what with all of the crazy amounts of learning and tremendous growth and all, but man are they BORING. I think the first four or five months that Charlie was here were simultaneously the most boring and the most difficult of my life. There were bright moments and highlights, of course, like when he'd smile or laugh or learn to roll over, but for the most part it was dullsville and I did not like it. And it wasn't a surprise to me that I didn't find that period enjoyable because I don't like hanging out with tiny babies.
But now Charlie's six months old, and things have changed. This is the first stage that I can honestly be like, I LOVE this stage!" He's just absolutely delightful these days. He's almost always smiling or laughing or figuring out how to do new stuff in that way that we can almost see the little wheels turning in his head. In the morning when he wakes up, he often just hangs out in his crib (or as Mitch calls it, his crate) squealing with delight. He gets cuter by the minute and I'm finally starting to experience the joy that people talk about when they talk about having children. (Don't get me wrong, though--I would be even more filled with joy if the boy would allow me to take a coma nap now and again.)
And the cuter and sweeter that Charlie gets, the more anxious and freaked out I become about the fact that he will grow up and one day leave us to go off and be a grown-up. It's the worst when we're watching TV. Did anyone see the season premiere of Parenthood when Haddie left for college? I sobbed through most of the episode, and it got worse when I realized that Charlie is half of a year old and that's 1/36 of the time we have to raise him before he leaves. There were big, heaving, snotty sobs. I'm about to cry just thinking about it. And don't even get me started on the worst, most cruel Google ad of all time. Matt saw it on the other night and told me not to watch it. But I was a dolt and watched it anyway and then was finished for the night. And when I was trying to teach my students about allusions the other day and pulled up the wrong clip of Toy Story 3 and ended up seeing the home movies of Andy as he grew up and prepared to leave, I had to do everything in my power to keep from becoming reduced to a sobbing sniveling mess in front of my class.
Don't watch this unless you want to cry your eyes out.
Is it just going to stay like this forever? I really didn't expect to be like this. I'm not one of those people who wants their baby to stay a baby forever (shoot, if I could have had little bud start off as a precocious, well-adjusted 3-year old I'd have done it), but the thought of him leaving makes me a total mess. I imagine that the time will come (perhaps age 13 or so?) when Charlie will be a mouthy little shit and I'll fantasize about the time he'll leave us. But for now, while he remains this cute and sweet, I'm just going to have to deal with being the weeping crazy lady several times a week. Oh well.