I must have left it at the hospital, because I can’t find it anywhere. It’s not in my stack of discharge papers. It’s not in my suitcase. It’s not mixed in with our heap of stolen hospital baby blankets. It’s simply not here. This is why I know I must have left my How Tonilyn Should Take Care of Her Baby Manual at the hospital.
ME: Honey, have you seen my How Tonilyn Should Take Care of Her Baby Manual that the hospital gave us?
HUBBY: Um … honey … the hospital doesn’t supply us with that.
ME: THAT’S INSANE! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WITHOUT SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS?!!!
My new “I am no longer pregnant” blouse from Anthropologie comes with more specific instructions than my newborn baby—that itchy DRY CLEAN ONLY label inside the shirt is hard to miss. I’ve checked my baby twice, and haven’t found one single tag. At this point, I am assuming that he is HAND WASH ONLY, but a label reassuring me of this would be nice.
Two weeks ago, before I was an official “Mom,” I knew that my son and I would be good together. He wouldn’t need to cry for more than five seconds at any given point, because as his mom I would know what he needed—possibly even before he did. Before he could whimper his “Give-me-my-blanket” cry, his blanket would be on him. Before he could wail his “I’m-starving-bring-me-my-hassenpfeffer” cry I’d be feeding him, and my soothing lullabies would lull him into a coma-like sleep. His cries would be our own private language, and my Magical Mom Powers would do the translating.
What’s weird is I don’t always (or ever) get his needs right the first time. I can’t always remember where I left his blanket, and I can’t remember all the verses to Hush Little Baby Don’t You Cry. (Isn’t there something in there about some kid named Billy and his goat? No? Oh, well.)
Sure, it’s only been two weeks, and some would say we are still getting to know each another, but I just assumed that since we spent over nine months hanging out together not eating sushi and watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the twentieth time we’d have a kind of short hand already.
Maybe Magical Mom Powers are more like my breast milk—slow to come in. I say this because at this point I am not totally engorged with power—but maybe I will be. I didn’t think my milk would ever come in, and one day it just did. I hope my MMP come in the same way. Maybe they make a pump for that. I should check the tag on my breast pump.