Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oh Baby

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.


Angela and David Kidd said...

You can borrow Zach anytime you'd like attention! And I'll take a nap while you're gone.

Keith said...

The only acceptable reason to have a baby is because you and your spouse love children and want some of your own. What your family thinks is of no importance in comparison. After all, it isn't *their* body going through pregnancy, or 2am feedings, or diaper changes, or everything else that goes along with children.

The child-free adult in me says you have to love them enough to put up with the 18-25 years of hell before they move out or become adults. Good luck with that.

Don't ask people if they are ok with that. Tell them.

Molly said...

The answer is NO, it is so NOT normal. It's kind of frightening, that kind of pressure. I honestly do not know why there is an expectation that women MUST procreate. It really pisses me off (or maybe that is just 3 nights straight of no sleep). You shouldn't even have to ask if everyone else is OK with that because it's none of their damn business.

Wes said...

The other side of this is do you want a baby in the house when you're 60? They come back, you know, and they multiply....

Julie said...

In answer to the "when are you having a baby?" question, I have begun responding with "when people stop asking me. So....it looks like never." That usually shuts them up, at least for the rest of the day.

Andrea said...

I think the funniest part of this post is what you wrote about Chris: the naked baby oil slip-in-slide Chris...the crappy pants Chris...

Lucky for me, my family has left me alone about the baby thing. It's my co-workers and my boss that won't shut up about it. Of the 7 of us in our office, 3 of them have had a baby in the last 2 yrs. All of them have children - except me.

I've got other things to worry about now and babys are not one of them.

Anonymous said...

You asked if this is normal (to be asked a million times when you're going to have a baby)...in my family it is...
I'm the only one not pregnant by choice on my dads side...its going to be a long year.
Stick to your guns and enjoy your full nights sleep (I will) :)


As usual, I was laughing like crazy while reading your post. However, I totally relate to your situation. I was 38 and 42 when I had our kids. Don't think I would have changed it, accept for the fact that I'm the oldest mom of all my kids friends. But....you have to do what's right for you in your own time.

Don't worry about the family/friend/peer pressure. You'll know when/if you are ready.

BTW, congrats on a great race Sunday. You did AWESOME!

Benson said...

Having a baby/kids/teens/etc. is way over rated. Your perfect just the way you are and damn it, I like you.
Don't ever change. EVER.

"Go forth and multiply" so said someone.

Sarah D said...

Ditto on all these comments so far-- it's no one's business or RIGHT to dictate when (and IF) you have a kid. Period. Unfortunately, it's all too common for everyone to not only have an opinion on your uterus, but to share it with you in a condescending manner (do I sound annoyed?? that's cause I'm where you are, but add in when-getting-married? to the broken-record).

People can be r.u.d.e.... and as long as you're ok with your decision, the rest of them can suck it.

Thanks for writing... this post really spoke to me!

Jenna said...

lol...you always capture your experiences in words - Next time someone touches your belly - grab their ass! Honestly ... why is it that people feel they have the right to questionany of your choices. You hurting anyone? Nope... live your life, afterall - it is yours!

K.Michele said...

Try being almost 34 and single ... then you get the "you know, you don't need a husband to have a baby" speech which is always fun. And lately, people have stopped telling me when mutual acquaintances get married - as if the thought of there being one less single person in the world migth push me over the edge!

Jessi said...


ADC said...

Have you spoken to my parents lately??? Oh dear, pressure, pressure, pressure. And all my friends had babies or are having babies.

GoBigGreen said...

Ha I am 43 and babyless. No one's business but my own:) Stand firm and dont buy banana babyfood. Oh that is Miss Daisy. Sorry.

JTri's said...

I have two kids and have loved the richness being a mom has given me. I say wait until you're ready, because the most bitter parents tend to be those who weren't ready to be one when they jumped into the deep end of the (gene) pool.

Mama Simmons said...

Well I'll be the one to give you a reason to have a baby that'll get your attention... You'll become a better/stronger/faster athlete! I swear everyone I know has gotten stronger post-baby. Just something to think about. Doesn't that seem like a good reason? HA! ;)

Kim said...

Ok.. first of all, please look for my check in the mail.. that baby IS freakin ridiculously cute. I think she hit the cute lottery. I think you should wait for awhile anyway, that way some of the cutness factor of this baby will have worn off and you can have a shot of someone saying something nice about YOUR baby.. ha.. Really though, I feel your pain. I'm about to hit the 30 and NO baby..what is wrong with me. I have no idea if/when it will happen but if I am lucky enough to be ready and have a healthy one someday, then I think I'll be ready. Until then, you and I can just keep wipping butt in triathlon ok! LOVED the post...it was my life on paper!

Dr. Robert said...

I thought that being the first sibling to have a baby would take all that pressure off of you. It was supposed to be a "hey, we can all calm down about the baby stuff because we've got one now" sort of thing. Anywho, you can borrow Annabel whenever, as she rarely poops outside of the house. Great, I probably just jinxed it!

Mommymeepa said...

Is that cute baby wearing leg warmers?

deedeebrown said...

Oh man, Coach Liz, you always make me LMAO!!! Since Scottie has taken time off, I have not been reading your blog. Did Scottie mention that he is now a grandpa? I am not sure what is worse, people hounding you to have a kid when you clearly have a full plate already or people laughing at you 'cause you are a grandma at 33. That is the reaction I am getting - even though I am truly just a step-grandma. Kids are wonderful - when you are READY to give your body (literally), mind, and soul to them.