Technically she’s not my first. I became a grandmother at the ripe old age of twenty-nine when my two-year-old birthed her first plastic-faced baby. Since then I’ve always worried a little about my daughters as moms. Not that they’d have babies before their time, or anything like that, but they’ve always come across as a little too cheerful and positive in the role of eternal caretaker. They seemed to think that babies popped out of belly buttons (though admittedly I’ve said nothing to dispute it), and that they’d be dressing back up in their princess gowns just as soon as they buckled their (silent) new baby into a floppy stroller.
I guess that’s kind of how I always thought it would go. And then I gave birth and it went…another way. But I understand why my mom never addressed my young ideals. It’s not like you can tell a toddler to enjoy her clothes, sleep, and vagina because they’ll never fit the same again. Instead, you smile. Nod. Hope for the best.
And then last night I got a glimpse of the future. Just before bed, my 7YO gave birth to what has to be at least her 50th baby, immediately reinvented herself in heels and a scarf, and introduced me to my new(est) granddaughter. (And my daughter is looking hot, btw. Her skin shows no sign of disfiguration. Guess that’s the plus of giving birth while your skin is still technically growing.)
ONE: This is my daughter, Eleanor. I just had her. Would you babysit?
My fears were put at ease. Clearly she’d packed up her child while she was still in utero. Like I’d properly prepared her for what she was getting into, and she decided against it. She’d even skipped right past the diaper bag and went for a box that would fit all of the essentials. Like her claw-footed tub. My daughters have been paying attention. They do undersand how to survive motherhood.
Maybe it’s her experience as a seasoned mother, or maybe just her experience as my daughter, but not only did she drop off her kid right before bed without the slightest sign of guilt, she also gave me a detailed list of instructions. You know, because she trusted me enough to leave the kid and run. But not enough to do it without her guidance.
My job here is done.
(Unless, of course, she’s really been listening and doesn’t come back for this kid at all…)
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