As I stare, cross-eyed, to a distance of about 8-12 inches, I can't help but wonder: What does it all mean?
It's like we're all just a series of random shapes, dangling from strings, spinning endlessly around. Sure, you can call it a mobile, but where are they going? Where are any of us really? Especially when you can't even control your neck. Or roll over. Time sure is a flat circle when you're stuck on your back. And don't even get me started on my tummy.
What's the point when you can't even poop in a toilet? When you've got to sit in your own waste until someone finally offers you a wipey. And a little bit of lotion. And a little bit less dignity. Sure, I've got some stuffed animals. But you can't take those with you. Unless those two giants remember to pack them in the diaper bag.
What is it I have to look forward to? Day-care. Universal pre-K. Elementary school. Middle. High. Getting arrested for a DUI. College. Internship. Year in Thailand. Job. Dating. Meeting someone. Falling in love. Getting married. Having a kid of my own. Divorcing. Joint custody. Weekend trips to the waterpark. Re-marrying a younger woman. Having two more kids. Getting cheated on with the town sheriff. Furiously devoting myself to my work. Being laid off a little earlier than I would have wanted to retire. Picking up a hobby. Trying to re-connect with my first daughter who now lives in Minnesota with a family of her own. Freezing winters. Slipping on an ice patch. Being placed in a home. No longer able to poop in a toilet.
Maybe it will eventually get better. When I can sit up. Smile. Say consonants. But is that really such an improvement? With great developmental milestones comes great responsibility. Next thing I know I'll be the obnoxious toddler crying in the store and pulling on the giant woman's shirt because she won't buy me a candy bar. How embarrassing. Is that really what my future holds? That sounds terrible, too.
I know I shouldn't be complaining. From the outside, I've got it made. I get to lounge around all day in pajamas, everyone caters to my every need, whenever I'm upset I get a face full of booby. But what about free will, what about individual liberty, what about being able to choose the animal print onesie I want to wear? Instead of always being forced into the duck one because it's everyone's favorite. And the feet are little duckies. And it's so freakin' cute.
Life is just an infinite cycle. Eat. Snooze. Shit. Eat. Snooze. Shit. Eat. Snooze. Shit. Every day just like the last. Eat. Forty minutes. Snooze. An hour fifteen. At least my shit is either brown, yellow, or green. There's something to get excited about. A little variety to spice things up. It's so depressing. I can't even make it through the night without sobbing.
Sometimes I wish I could just return to the womb. Especially when my arms are tucked tight in my swaddle and the giant man is incessantly shushing in my ear. Oh to be able to escape his rocking arms and crawl back into my fluid-filled home. Instead he'll probably just jab a pacifier in my mouth and drop me in a swing playing generic lullabies. How lucky can one baby get? Maybe if I'm really bad I'll even have the chance to go on a drive to nowhere. What a wonderful world this can be.
One day you're all alone in this uterus, doing your own thing, minding your own business, and the next you're someone's child. Totally dependent on them for everything. You can kiss your free time goodbye. Your whole life completely changes. So much for grabbing dinner at your favorite local placenta whenever you want. Now everything's on a feeding schedule. I just feel so trapped.
Don't get me wrong, it's not all awful. I love milk, and there's always plenty of it. There's this crinkle toy that I really like. Yesterday I discovered my thumb. That thing's pretty cool. But I just don't get my purpose. My function. Is it simply to burp and wait for my teeth to come in? To cry and hope I grow some more hair? To suck and try to stand up? What is it I'm supposed to be doing with my life, when I can't even process sounds and images?
And I know I'm not the first newborn to ever go through a beginning-life crisis before. I'll admit I'm a total cliché. But it's not like I can afford to buy a new car, or even sleep in a bed shaped like one. And chasing after a girl half my age is next to impossible. Unless I want to rob the nursery. So I've really got no options. But to wail. And wail. And wait. Until someone hugs me to their chest, pats me on my back, and tells me they love me and everything is going to be alright.
Which may actually be as good as it gets for giants and mushes alike.