Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Marsupial in Me

To those familiar with my parenting philosophy, it will probably not come as much of a surprise to learn that I have wished, for a couple of years now, that humans had pouches.  How much easier would it be, instead of manipulating an unwieldy ring sling, to simply tuck your newborn into your pouch and head out the door?  Public nursing becomes a non-issue; strangers no longer caress your baby's tiny cheeks; the baby stays warm and happy, and consequently, so do you!  Of course daily, monotonous tasks would be easier--you now have two hands!  two arms!--but the real freedom would lie in all of the other adventures you could undertake with your baby safely ensconced.  An evening out?  No babysitter, no problem!  Want a little exercise?  No running stroller required.

But the reality, I suppose, is that holding a baby in your arms, to your chest, at eye-level, is what humans are made to do.  Although I'd definitely have been poked in the eye a lot less, I'd also have had fewer little hands patting my cheeks, had my babies not been held.  

When she was a toddler, Emily wanted to be held constantly.  She liked the closeness, certainly, but she also depended on my reactions to new situations to develop her own.  Upon encountering something new, or scary, she'd stare deep into to my eyes as if reading my thoughts, gauging my insecurities, following my lead.

Tonight, after their baths, Tim was dressing Emily and I was drying Jackson with his towel, when Emily started her late-evening-sick-for-two-days-can't-take-anymore meltdown in the next room.  Jackson looked into my eyes, quizzically, then asked, "Crying?"  "Yes, that's Emily, she's crying," I told him.  He sat there thinking for a second, then looked up at me.  "I go hold you."  Then, running toward Emily, his chubby arms outstretched, anxious to hold the sister who outweighs him by fifty percent, "I go hold you, I go hold you!"

Could a pouch do that?


Austin Dalgo said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, it's a better place now that you're here. Meg thinks you're a great writer and I do too! I'll take up the no-pouch-thing with the Creator; you keep being a good mom. We look forward to seeing y'all at Easter. Gotta go, Meg keeps saying, "I go hold you."

Mira Lelovic said...

Thanks for reading my blog. Although I've never met Joy, I've raced in a few of the same triathlons with her. She's a phenomenal athlete! Like I said, glad she's not in my age group!