I was walking along Monday afternoon, admiring the beautiful autumn day, the lovely leaves, the cute baby passing by, the friendly orange cat--when out of the blue the most preposterous, horrific thought crossed my mind: "Wouldn't it be sweet to have another little baby?"
Those were the exact words. I actually stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and slapped myself in the forehead as if I could knock them out of my brain. Jeebus. I can't even imagine living with myself if I had another kid.
It's not just the environmental factors (OMG POPULATION CRISIS, people--put your freakin' legs together!) or the expense thing (kids are powered by money, I think). It's not just the fear of sibling rivalry or the endless mess, or even the forty weeks of misery. It's idea of living in absolute terror for four long years.
I say four, although it's an approximate. I mean, you live through the agony of pregnancy, where the least little mistake could make the little critter shoot out three or four extra limbs or a harelip. A morsel of bad sushi could annihilate the poor thing. Then it finally gets here. There are germs and SIDS and colic and random viruses just waiting to pounce on the tiny, undeveloped immune system. There are all the food issues--dare I breastfeed after I've had Pad Thai, for fear of peanut allergies? There are all the fears that I'll drop the slippery, squirmy thing after I've given it a bath.
And those are just the infant terrors! Toddlerhood with its wobbly legs and attempts at running and climbing--that's where the real hell begins. Everything is a lethal weapon in the toddler's hands. Death is a second away at any point in time.
Just typing this stuff is making my tummy hurt. I am too big a sissy to be a parent. I feel damn lucky I made it this long, and you better believe that I have raised a child who is obsessed with safety. She's the school safety bully. Don't let her see you doing anything dangerous or you'll get your ear chewed off.
Well, luckily that thought passed. But in different "baby" news, I am feeling a bit like an empty nester. I'm pretty sure I feel exactly like a baby-sitter feels when she learns the kids she watches have gotten too big to need a sitter. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself!
You see, the last couple of months I've gotten to enjoy a truly, awesomely fabulous experience: working with John Joseph Adams on a couple of his projects. If you're like me, you've read all his anthologies and love them. (If you're not like me, you can keep it to yourself.) Somehow, a miracle happened and this guy, my hero, let me work on story headers for the coolest, most awesome anthology of all time: Brave New Worlds. This book is going to be amazing and I can't wait till it comes out, which is something like next January.
But now my work is done and it's been sent off to the publisher and I am just sitting here, twiddling my thumbs. I guess it means I'll have plenty of time to get ready for Nanowrimo!
I think I'll write something scary. But not as scary as thoughts about babies.
Yes, I am geeked out about this!