In my world it’s not often that you come across a woman in her late 20’s and beyond who has zero experience in motherhood. There aren’t many of us left in this age bracket who’ve yet to ever feel the nauseating stomach aches of morning sickness, the joy of hearing an embryo’s first heartbeats via ultrasound, the beautiful emergence of baby known as childbirth and the phenomenal privilege of child rearing, bonding and responsibility that parenting brings. Women in my predicament are instead bombarded with questions from their parents such as “(Sigh), I sure am ready for grandchildren” as their faces take on the most desperate looks of longing when they see the next toddler go bumbling by. Society questions us as well. “No kids yet? Are you seeing anyone special at least?” With all of this subliminal messaging, it should come as no surprise that I’ve found myself being bitten by that motherhood “itch.” Yes, I think I’m about ready…I wouldn’t mind a baby…or two.
At least that’s how I felt until yesterday…until my baby cousin
who’s actually my second cousin Solomon b!+ch-slapped me into reality.
My big cousin has the CUTEST son ever who the entire family absolutely adores! He is the first baby in the family so naturally everyone holds him and wonders when are the rest of the 20-something nieces/nephews/sons/daughters/cousins going to embark on mother/fatherhood as well. When he smiles, almost everything becomes alright and my heart feels a sudden rush of love. It is in those moments I realize I want one of these little boogers of my own… to be able to look in their face and see all of my life’s responsibility and purpose looking right back at me.
And then, it is in these moments when Solomon decides to spit/poop/burst into a temper tantrum as I sit there defenseless and try to cope. Solomon knows he has the upper hand; he knows the power his wails of despair and attention warrant. With no hesitation, I am made to come to his rescue and oblige whatever his requests are…usually this simply means handing him off to his mother lol.
Yesterday I visited my cousin and there, standing in the middle of the floor gnawing on the handle of his xylophone was Solomon. He took a second to flash me his customary, 6-toothed grin before getting back to work on his task at hand, which was teaching himself to walk more than four steps at a time and continue to gnaw on his toys. Aww! As his mother prepared dinner, Solomon did everything in his power to wreck the entire kitchen and living room, and wreck the rooms he did! By the time dinner was over, Solomon had managed to hurl his spaghetti noodles everywhere except his mouth, pull out ALL of the pots and pans from an unsecured bottom cabinet and toss his toys all over the living room rug. I found myself occupying his time while his mother spent the next 30-45 minutes restoring order to her home. Simple right?
Chilling out, being a “good” boy was the last thing he was concerned with doing. I spent those minutes wracking my brain to find new, creative ways to keep his mind occupied and his hands and legs busy. Solomon had no desire to sit down, be still and read books with me (because you know I tried). Instead he kept wandering over to his father’s speakers and djing equipment, trying to press buttons, pull random objects and above all else, keep moving! Taking my eyes off of him for a split-second would mean certain disaster so there I was, stalking his every move to keep him out of harm’s way. Soloman wasn’t misbehaving-he was doing what comes naturally to one-year olds and unfortunately my old behind was struggling to keep up! Soon enough his mother finished cleaning and whisked him away for bath time. As for me? I found myself semi-exhausted, chilling on the couch, drinking the iciest glass of water known to man. How my cousin does it every, single day while remaining fly herself will continue to be an unsolved mystery.
It was in this moment (along with many others) that I thanked God he has yet to bless me with marriage and children. With this immense feeling of gratitude, my latest bout with the motherhood itch has passed.