The alchemy of parenthood
Before Bun Bun was born, I wondered what sort of father my husband would be, what sort of partnership we’d have as a family of three. I wondered if his lack of interest in reading books about babies and buying things for babies would translate to a lack of interest in caring for our very own baby. I worried that he’d defer to me on all matters, and plead ignorance when faced with caretaking tasks. But no! Thus far, he’s been amazing. Just as some of you suggested there might be, there was a magical transformation once Bun Bun was a real live person. Now he’s perfectly happy to read books about babies and tell me what they advise, while I smile and resist saying, I KNOW! I ALREADY READ THE BOOKS ABOUT BABIES! He’s been happily cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping: instead of laundry being a tedious chore, it’s now part of Caring for His Family and thus brings him a weird sense of satisfaction. He changes all the diapers, and in the wee hours after she’s been fed, he’s the one who changes her and soothes her back to sleep. He reads to me while I nurse, and has been an amazing source of support during the Days of Bloody Nipples.* He even keeps his temper when I’m awful. (In the middle of last night I growled GO AWAY! at him, and he totally didn’t take it personally!) I think it might have helped that my C-section forced him to take a super active role from day 1, so he didn’t get the chance to be deferential. And maybe it won’t last indefinitely, but while it does, I am certainly going to enjoy it.
|Mr. Bunny and Bun Bun after her first bath. There’s a soundtrack to go with–I am now conditioned to tear up to this song.|
So, in short, he’s basically turned from lead (well, maybe silver) into gold. And what about me? What kind of magical transformation have I gone through now that I’m a parent?
I have turned from person into milkbag.
I’ve read about this phenomenon, and, as with so many things, failed to understand what it was really like. In the mornings, Mr. Bunny asks what I plan to do with my day, and the answer is always feed our child. That’s it. That’s all I can hope to accomplish, and I feel pretty lucky if I can accomplish that.
Mr. Bunny is going back to work next week. And although this is not nearly as bad as it sounds (he’s the VP of a three-person company and has a super flexible boss, plus he works from home most of the time and is planning to work in a sort of part-time capacity while we see how things go), it makes me anxious to contemplate it. I feel like I’ll be left all alone, wandering in a misty, timeless world, just me, my leaking breasts and my baby.
*Things are going okay in that department, by the way. I estimate another two weeks and we’ll have this down. Please let me not be wrong. Also, RandomQuorum asked for specifics on the advice I got from the magic doctor, so I’ve put some stuff here.