How the Eff Did I Get Here?

Being a baby has to be discombobulating. How do they make sense of what’s happening to them? I think of this the most when G falls asleep in one place and then wakes up in another. For instance, he passed out in his car seat after we dropped his brother off at school this morning. Then came a 10-minute drive across town where I stopped to put a few bucks of gas in the car. After depositing a check at the bank, I then took him in his carrier into a market for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. Back into the car and on to home where I put him in the kitchen, asleep all the while. About five minutes later, I heard a cry and went in to see a disoriented expression on his chubby face, like, “how the eff did I get here?” Then he saw me and a look of recognition crept into his eyes. Everything was alright again, but only until our next car ride.

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Baby Doll

I’ve never really given much thought to how my staying home affects B’s notions of manhood. I’ve always focused on how being with me all day has made him rough-and-tumble, masculine even, as opposed to those his age who’ve spent all three years with their mommies.

Then a few weeks ago we visited his grandparents and while there he grabbed one of his mama’s old baby dolls. I didn’t think much of it until we got back home and he wanted to put his baby in the Bjorn or in the car seat. Suddenly, it hit me. He was emulating his daddy. I walk around all day with a baby in a Bjorn or car seat, too, so that’s what he thinks is normal or the standard. Perhaps, as the years pass and more fathers stay home, it will be. For now…