A baby or a kid

By Published On: December 28th, 2015

“Ummm, sir? He’s a baby.” Max goes starry-eyed whenever a […]

-1“Ummm, sir? He’s a baby.” Max goes starry-eyed whenever a stranger approaches his stroller, and he casts a love spell stronger than Love Potion No. 9 with babbles, coos and wiggling fingers. My bitty boy loves men, women and children equally, and he wants to make sure his love is returned. He will do anything. For his work? He usually gets a reward. Today, for example, a Packer’s fan (his hat said so!) offers Max his finger (a terrible thing to offer anyone other than a baby!), and then turns to me, “You have an adorable kid.”
My reaction? Ummm, sir? He’s a baby. OK, OK, luckily those words only traversed my own mind, but, lemme tell you: I was internally screaming them and wondering why this guy would make such a mistake. Maybe this Packers fan knows nothing of babies? Is he unable to tell the difference between a newborn and a toddler? What about a toddler and a KID? Trix are for Kids, right? And Max can’t eat Trix. Max is a baby. Yes, I am a new mom, and I have a newborn. I keep these thoughts to myself, and to Man in the Green Bay beanie, I simply say, “Thank you.”
Max+Mom stroller away from the categorically confused man, and, maybe as a farewell, Max tosses his hat backward. Little man thinks it’s HILARIOUS to remove hat from head and heave cap into the wind. Kinda cute, maybe, but we live in Minnesota, and my fair-skinned blondie is nearly bald.
I return the hat (Dad doesn’t wanna hear ANOTHER missing cap story), Max laughs, and then the bean offers me his pacifier. My dude giggles for a solid 15 seconds whenever I chomp on his nook,  so I do it. I also find it funny for a grown lady to suck a ‘Let It Snow’ pacifier (not funny in a Chelsea Handler or Amy Schumer way, but—IDK—mom humor? Maybe?), and so now we’re both laughing in the street. My dude is a riot. I am, too? Or maybe I’m just grossing you out? Anyway …
Hat on his head, nook in HIS mouth, and now we’re really headed for the store. Except, slow down, Max is screaming about something. I park the stroller and investigate the tiny man calling the shots: His hands are up, his eyes are wild, and he’s had enough of sitting still. Max, per usual, wants to army crawl around, practice standing, get into things, and, with any luck, have someone hold his hands as he walks around the town. So how do I get my wild man into the store? I carry him.
Part 1 of our mission (OPERATION GET TO THE STORE!) is complete. Now, however, I need to distract Max with wrapping paper rolls and toilet paper, so he forgets wanting to navigate Piggly Wiggly like Mr. Columbus exploring the New World. Personal hygiene boxes distract for 10 minutes, but I spend the rest of our supermarket adventure feeding Max apples with cinnamon from an itty-bitty pouch. (I wonder if Columbo woulda been distracted by a bit of Granny Smith?)
-4I’m exhausted when we make it home: All the food I got for dinner will transform into baked chicken and mashed potatoes after I feed Max and take a mega nap. And that nap I’m planning? It’s gonna be so deep&long&good that Sleeping Beauty herself will turn not just green, but absolutely camouflage (or malachite or olive, pick your dark shade!), with envy.
My mind dreams of slumbering away, but my anxious thoughts begin cross country practice: Why did the man call Max a kid? Should we remodel or buy new construction? Is it truly terrible that Max isn’t sleeping through the night at 8 months? Who will watch Max during Emilly’s bachelorette party? Jon’s away but I really gotta be there … OK, remember to ask in-laws.
Mama’s got a lot on her mind. But, you know what? Max snuggles close (as he does every 3 ½ to 4 hours) and reminds me that none of my creeping anxieties matter when it’s time to nurse. Little man goes into my arms, and my cares fade-away as we rock and sway and work together to nourish his little body. He snuggles in and the song, “could anything ever feel this good forever” replaces every other thought in my head. Yes, I’m definitely one of those chicks getting endorphins from the milk dispersion. (I’m making enough for a couple bowls of Trix y’all!) OK, TMI.
-3But you know what? Nursing feels good, even great, and I look forward to it just as much as Max does. Except, wait—stop it!! Gah!! Max pulls my hair TIGHT, and then he tries wiggling away to catch our dog. Ouch! He just pinched my nipple! And, in that moment, I realize something: My newborn never pinched my nipples or tried to run away with the dog. Reader? I just might have a kid.