Hi, my name is Liz Waterstraat, I am nearly 34 years old and I do not have a baby.
(enter the muffled gasps of a thousand people paid by my family to ask me WHEN)
The sacrilege of it all is unbelievable. I know. What a waste of a vagina (listen, you talk about the baby, you have to talk about the vagina). But somehow, childless I move forward in life.
Without a child.
This is not easy. And no one seems to be working with me. In the past few months, three of Chris’ relatives had a baby; his cousin, his other cousin, and the kicker – his sister.
Who is 6 years younger than him.
In Chris’ words, we blew it. 100 percent had our chance to have the first grandchild and threw it away. Along with the oodles of toys, a crib fit for a queen, a swing that I swear to god does everything but fax papers and an entire wardrobe of pink frilly things that no baby needs but baby WILL wear.
Part of me says to Chris – we are lucky. By the time we have kids, no one will care which will save us the painstaking task of having to dress our kid in a pink bonnet with flowered mittens and a matching headband. On an 80 degree day. And that’s just if it’s a boy.
All of this baby googoogaga came smack in the face at me on Sunday – the day of Aubrey Jane’s christening.
Isn’t that a beautiful name? Aubrey Jane? Know what’s even worse? This kid is freakin’ beautiful. Know how sometimes you tell people that their baby is really cute even though it’s really not? Not Aubrey. She’s the real deal. Beautiful. Like someone should elect this kid the new face of Gerber baby. You should probably pay an entrance fee to just look at her.
Enter Exhibit A:
Now send me 10 bucks. Everyone.
The christening was beautiful, too. Aubrey was dressed like the world’s only 6-month old bride and even had a bonnet to match. Call it the finest in christening couture. I picked her up and her body temperature was roughly 200 degrees (estimate after doing the reliable hand to forehead test and hey did you know if you are not hot you are cool as a cucumber…what sort of scientific term is that and how many cucumbers do you have to touch to know that they are cool..?) so I took her bonnet off. I realize it completely ruined the lacey ensemble but it had to let out at least 100 of those degrees into the rest of the room which might explain why Chris was sweating like an animal half way through his meal.
I walked around with Aubrey to give her parents a chance to eat in peace because I’m guessing eating + peace are not very common occurrences around their house. Meanwhile Aubrey and I scanned the buffet. The buffet was one of those All American everything you don’t need to eat but really want to plus BONUS(!) it’s all soaked in mayonnaise buffets with Quiche, Oysters Rockefeller, Eggs Benedict…need I even bring up the desserts? Or the waffle bar, the omelet station or ice cream sundae stand? Aubrey and I decided I would go back for a plate of gnocchi, scrambled eggs and petit fours. That is what I call a complete meal – carbs + protein + sugar (a little known food group).
As I walked around I realized that holding a baby is the next best way to get attention other than having big boobs. Seeing that I don’t have those, this baby was the first time I felt like all eyes were on me. Someone even came up to me and said she is beautiful. I KNOW! But I felt obligated to tell them the truth she is not mine. But to my surprise they came back with well, you look good with one.
Did anyone in the far right corner of the room pay you to say that!?!?
Eventually I brought Aubrey back and watched her get passed like a hot potato (also a favorite American children’s game which I never liked and might explain why I still don’t like potatoes – who wants to eat something that everyone has touched?) amongst 75 other relatives. After about an hour of that Aubrey blew up in a predictable as the weather fit of tears before someone figured out that she was slowly melting under 1000 pounds of lace so they took it off.
ALL OF IT…off.
The next thing you knew, a very naked except for a diaper Aubrey was happily bouncing on her daddy’s knee.
Meanwhile, my baby I mean husband Christian was sitting next to me shouting “HOW COME SHE GETS TO TAKE HER CLOTHES OFF WHILE I HAVE TO WEAR THIS STUPID SHIRT AND TIE.” I wouldn’t put it past him to strip down to his shorts to run around the room with Aubrey’s bonnet in a protest to having to wear a suit and tie in the first place (this from a man who has naked beer slided on Ragbrai while covered in baby oil).
Side note: when I asked Chris if he would be embarrassed if the world knew he naked beer slided on Ragbrai while covered in baby oil he said, I told the world I shit in my pants last year. While wearing your race shorts. Do you think I care?
I rest my case.
Remembering now that I should probably pack diapers for Chris when we go out, I told him to at least loosen his tie to cool off and let some heat out as he has a history of crapping himself under extreme heat and pressure.
His reply? NO, I was told to wear this shirt and tie so I’ll be DAMNED if I take it off. I am wearing this he said with a charge in his voice that made me think he was heading straight for the finish line in this outfit – no matter what.
(a little background: he was told via 100 texts, phone calls, voice mails and in person demands that he must wear a suit and tie…)
At that point, we got up to move around and get some air and the questions started rolling in – when are you going to have a baby? When is your turn? Where is the baby?
Someone even touched my stomach.
Is this normal? Forget appropriate – the answer is NO – but is this …. NORMAL!?!!
Smile and nod, smile and nod. That is really all you can do. Because no matter what you say they will not (a) hear, (b) care, (c) respond until you…make the baby.
So mixing and mingling went well. And then I hid in the back of the room again. Watched Aubrey being passed around along with another cousin’s baby, too. On top of that, there was talk of the other cousin who just had a baby named Chase Logan. I told Chris if we don’t get started soon all of the good names will be gone. All that would be left is naming our baby something like…Mutt. Meet Mutt Waterstraat. We wanted to name him ______ (fill in any decent name that will likely be taken by the unborn-yet-children of Chris’ 100000 cousins) – but all the good names were taken so we settled on Mutt.
There were so many babies and talk of babies that I just wanted to either spit up or poop my pants. I picked at my giant dessert plate instead. I chose something that was covered in chocolate sprinkles and imagine my horror when I realized it was a chocolate covered…banana. After a banana in my oatmeal, a banana post-race and a banana in a protein smoothie I said no way in hell am I eating another banana today. EVEN if covered in chocolate. But wait, bananas, know what they remind people of? Babies. Because babies love bananas!
ratch bananas off the grocery list.
I exited the christening without immaculately birthing a baby. Imagine that. I guess you could say I survived. Yet no sooner did divine intervention intervene again than the next day. On Monday I met Kathy for coffee and she brought along two-year old Sydney. After coffee she asked if I would be up for outlet shopping. Count me in! There’s a Nike outlet there and I am addicted to their running shorts. Laugh all you want but I could give a hoot about discounted Coach bags or Kate Spade. You can’t run in those! Give me comfortable running shorts instead – I’m willing to pay full price!
Who knew that all you need to occupy a two year old while shopping is a sippy cup and a steady supply of M&Ms? Who knew a two year old could also be very helpful in choosing some clothes? While Kathy wanted a brown top in Banana Republic, Syndey said I think we’ll take the blue one. At the Gap outlet, she entertained her face in a pair of fabulously rainbow golf shorts that were probably more appropriate for R.O.Y. G. B.I.V. than a woman. She then stood by the Gap Body line laughing her ass off at the stuff they are trying to sell for 30 bucks that you sleep in. Played hide in seek in the sale rack of dresses in Ann Taylor Loft and tried to eat the flip flops at J. Crew.
It was shortly after that when we ran out of M&Ms along with water in the sippy cup. Let me tell you, like most things in life, it’s all fun and games (and good outlet bargains) until someone craps their pants. So Kathy and I parted ways – she too the restroom, I too the dressing room to try on some clothes. Made a few purchases and was glad I didn’t need a diaper change.
As far as the baby – I don’t think I’ll be making that purchase any time soon. I realize all the good names might be gone and I risk living the rest of my life raising a child named Cowboy. I’m ok with that. I also realize I am passing up on the opportunity to have thousands of pink frilly outfits thrown my way along with the world’s first can fly to the moon baby swing. I am also ok with that.
But, everyone else, are you ok with that?
Don’t answer that. Just remind me the next time I go out I need to be holding a baby. Much easier than having my own baby. Plus I’ve been told I look it’s a good look for me. And god knows borrowing someone’s kid is cheaper than buying a Kate Spade bag.
Even at outlet price.