My Guy and I are learning to embrace the DINK lifestyle. It’s going pretty well, except we often ask each other, “If we don’t have kids, why don’t we have nicer stuff?”
Yeah, I got your ’03 Honda right here.
But while we’re enjoying our not-new-but-not-sticky stuff, we’re also dealing with The Baby Give and Take.
The Baby Give and Take is a well-intentioned but very awkward dance wherein people insist we hold their babies or babies of other folk. The thought seems to be a combination of “This is the best baby ever!” and “You must bond with the baby!” Sometimes, there’s a touch of “If you hold a baby, you’ll finally decide to adopt!” thrown in.
Now, I like babies just fine. Their heads generally smell amazing. And holding babies is cool. They’re warm and cuddly and what’s not to like? But The Baby Give and Take means a baby is forced upon me or my darling husband. And then, to fulfill the “and Take” part of it, someone swoops in and whisks the baby away the second the infant makes a sound or gives even the slightest indication of not being 110 percent happy. There’s generally no “Oh, she’s fussy – do you want me to take her?” It’s more like, “Jesus, people! Don’t break the baby, you savages!”
I thought it was just me. But My Guy has commented on it – it happens to him, too. The administrators of The Baby Give and Take – who are both baby owners and baby friends and family – seem to be kind people who want to include us. But the whole thing makes us feel like idiots who have no social skills and failed the child care unit in home ec.
Not being parents means that we are bystanders to many of our peers’ experiences right now. It means that maintaining those relationships takes extra care and work. And that’s OK. But no one is helping the cause through The Baby Give and Take. What if the mere sight of an infant still made me explode into an infertile lady shame spiral? What if holding a baby made my kind and sensitive husband look for a drifter to kill?
The Give is bad enough. But The Take? The Take just says, “Well, bless your heart. I see you made an effort, but here, let me take that baby off your hands since you’re clearly incapable of keeping it alive for more than 30 seconds.”
Quit making me hold the baby. Or let me hold the baby when I ask and then let me hand her off in my own time. Or let me hide in the bathroom. Just … let me be.
Also? My dachshund is mega-cute and won’t require orthodontia or college. So, there’s that.