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Confessions Of An Addict

I’ve got to admit, I’ve never been big into babies.  I was the sitter that did it purely for the cash, not the baby factor.  As an adult, I sort of smiled perfunctorily at infants; I never walked down the street and did the head swivel to follow a cherub in a retreating stroller.  Babies seemed foreign, impenetrable to me, and I had no idea how to behave around them.  As for small children, well, I knew they could smell my fear.  I didn’t want to be one of the adults that would put on the fake high voice while the kid stared disgustedly at them, and didn’t know what else to do. 
So I never had that baby lust other people feel.  Even when I was pregnant, I wasn’t mooning over other babies in anticipation; I was looking forward to mine, of course, but not feeling any different about babies in general.  I knew I would love my daughter as a person, but didn’t imagine I’d feel any differently about babies as a species on the other end of this mommy thing.

Now that she’s here, I realize I was right, and I was wrong.  I see now that some women just adore babies regardless, like I never did.  But I also see that many mommies smile fondly at babies because of the memories they invoke of the mom’s own babies.  When I see another newborn, I get soft and melty because I remember Maddie at that stage.
And I have to tell you, I’m addicted to my kid.  I am in love with her baby-ness, because it’s part and parcel of who she is; I can’t separate my love of general baby smell with my love of Maddie’s smell.  I realize that some of the things I do are signs of the truly crazy-in-love, and knowing you’ll understand – even empathize - I shamefacedly confess them here to you.
1.      When I change her diaper, sometimes I leave her naked on the table much longer than necessary, so I can kiss all over her.
2.      We put her to sleep at night with her door shut to keep out evening noise.  I re-open the door at our bedtime, and I exhale a deep breath before opening her door so I can inhale a lungful of stored-up Maddie smell.
3.      Maddie and I occasionally nap together, and I don’t always go to sleep.  Sometimes I just watch her sleep and wallow in how much she enjoys snuggling up to me.
4.      When I get up to feed her at 5 or 6 a.m., I love how happy she is to see me.
5.      I often stop during our stroller walks to take pictures of her with my cell phone camera; I am convinced she has never been as cute as she is at that exact second.  Thankfully, I do not share most of these pictures with other people.
6.      At night when I set out her clothes for the next day, I usually have a hard time picking what she’ll wear the next day: she looks so darn cute in everything.
7.      I find what I am convinced is an unhealthy amount of pleasure in the fact that I’m sometimes the only thing that can comfort her.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. 
Fortunately for me, I know I’m not alone.  I see all you other mommies out there, surreptitiously smelling the top of your baby’s head as you talk to a girlfriend.  If there’s a cure, please don’t tell me.  I’m Jennifer, and I’m addicted to my baby.


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