When they ask whether you’re ready to be a parent, what they really mean is, “Do you know any lullabies?” Apart from the weirdly morbid “Rock a bye-baby” and a few lines of “Go to Sleep,” that were reworded to sing at summer camp, it turns out that I am sadly lacking in the lullaby department. Instead, I maintain a maternal jukebox of Yusuf Islam, Dawud Wharnsby Ali, a little bit of Bob Marley, and some Freddy Mercury that would make Queen flinch.
(We will, we will BURP YOU!)
A while ago someone asked me what being a mother was like. I thought for a bit, and the most honest thing I could say was that it was like having a gigapet that you can’t turn off. Of course, that’s not the whole truth, because your brain is not hardwired to pop out of bed like a piece of hyperactive toast at the gigapet’s tiniest little beep, twenty-four hours a day. And a gigapet cannot melt you with its first sloppy, lopsided smile. And a gigapet won’t bury its warm little face in your shoulder and sigh with contentment when it’s full, and a gigapet won’t fall asleep on your stomach and look so perfect and so peaceful that you sit watching it for the next half an hour out of awe.
So ok, motherhood may not really be like owning a gigapet, but what else could I have told the guy? I might have said that it was like emotional bootcamp, but then I would be neglecting to mention the immense emotional returns, and when’s the last time a drill sergeant made you feel all warm and fuzzy?