So I'm at an age at which a lot of my friends are pregnant and having babies. It hit a little closer to home last week (appropriate expression?) when one of my best Brazilian friends, Karine, told me she was pregnant. (You may remember her from such posts as her Christmas visit, her first time seeing the ocean and our hiking adventures back in Caipirópolis). Since my American friends that have gotten pregnant have all been far away, I haven't been involved at all. This is the closest friend whose pregnancy I'll really be a part of.
Thanks to the wonders of the internets, I've also made friends with two fellow expat American women here in the new city. One is pregnant and the other one has a one-year-old. Last week, I met up with the new mother at the mall. She told me, "we'll meet at such-and-such place; I'll have the baby in the stroller." So while I was waiting for her, I was keeping my eye out for the stroller. Only then did I see just how many women were at that mall pushing their babies around!
I was also sitting at a table to wait for said new friend, and a toddler came running up to me and started climbing up onto another chair at the table. It didn't even occur to me to try to keep the toddler from falling or knocking the chair over and tumbling down with it until the mother rushed over in a panic. Whoops. I probably came off as a heartless monster. That's right, little one. Keep on climbin'. I'm interested to see what will happen. It'll be a nice physics lesson for you.
I also had lunch the other day with the new and pregnant friend, and got to hear first-hand how parasitic a baby can feel! It wreaks such havoc on your body! How uncomfortable. My new friend is a real trooper.
All of this baby stuff has made me realize just how little I know about pregnancy and babies in general. I hardly babysat at all as a teenager, didn't have any younger brothers and sisters...nothin'. My sister and I are twins, and she hasn't popped out any kids yet. I don't know how to talk to or act around babies and toddlers. I always forget not to swear and I'm at a loss when they don't respond positively to logic and reason. I've never even changed a diaper. The youngest age that I have any experience with is preschoolers, from when I worked for an ESL program during college. I know lots of linguistic milestones for babies and children because we have to learn about that in linguistics classes, but that's the extent of my knowledge.
Honestly, I think there's also the cultural factor of how it's not "ladylike" to talk about the gruesome details of being pregnant and raising a newborn, so women only tell those kinds of things to their doctors and their mothers. On the airplane ride back from the US this month, I read the silly Marian Keyes chick lit book, Watermelon, which had all kinds of revealing information on what happens to a woman's body in the months after having a natural birth. DID NOT KNOW THOSE THINGS.
Is it bad that I'm so baby-challenged? I guess not, if I don't plan to have kids anytime in the next decade, if at all. Don't worry about leaving comments on how I should volunteer with kids to get more comfortable around them...honestly, I'm not that interested! I'm just reflecting on how little of my life has been spent around young children. Once I wasn't one anymore (a young child, that is), I left that age group in the dust!
Anyone else feel like that? Anyone else with kids still feel like that?