Thursday, March 22, 2007

The truth about baby

My life sure has changed since I had Gus - understatement of the century, right? Well here's another one - I have learned a lot since having a baby.

There is one thing that I keep noticing when I am in public with the baby that I've been wanting to write about for a while.
When Gus was pretty new I had to learn that he is not me. He is his own entity, his own person. I am not him; he is not me. I think this is something that some moms never really learn. It took me a while to realize that other people may have relationships with Gus, even as a baby, that don't include me. For instance, as Gus and I are out walking or at the grocery store or what not, people will smile at Gus or wave at Gus or make a comment - it is NOT a smile, wave, comment to me - only Gus. And it's like they don't really even notice me - which is not a big deal - I'm not dying to be noticed - it just seems somewhat strange. I know I have done the same thing to other people's kids. The problem arises when someone asks Gus a question - directly to him - and then expect him to answer. "How old are you?" "What is your name?" And then they look at him - not me - and wait for an answer. So, of course after a few seconds I have to say with a smirk and a lilt- he's 10 months old. It's somewhat uncomfortable for me. I don't want to be butting into Gus's conversations when I'm not invited, but people just don't really see the situation for what it is. Sure, I know that they would expect me to answer the question - if I didn't they would think I was very strange. I really would like to try that some time however. Next time someone poses a question to Gus and not me I will just sit there and not say a word. And then after a little while maybe I'll say - he doesn't know how to talk yet. What's great now that Gus is getting a little older, when people wave at him he is able and alert enough to wave back. People love that. I think it's pretty cute too.

Today I was at the grocery store and the bagger, who happened to have downsyndrome, was smiling at Gus and tickling his tummy. And then as we were leaving he said several times with his face really close to Gus's- "I love you." This reminded me of another funny baby quirk that people have. When Gus is with me I sometimes get special treatment. When I was pregnant I got similar special treatment - but I think then it was because people were more afraid of me than because they thought it was cute. Kind of like - here comes a huge pregnant woman, hurry get out of her way, open the door for her but don't get too close. But now it is a more positive kind of special treatment. I actually had a man say to me "you go first because you have that cute baby." And he let me go ahead of him in line for no reason other than Gus. I really think I could use this to my benefit. People definitely trust you more when you are carrying a baby. It's like you are automatically a good person. I had Gus with me when I had to pick up a check for work. The check had been slid about 3 feet under the office door of my co-worker who wasn't there to unlock the door. (This is a long story for another time but I'll give the brief version). So, without hesitation the man in the office across the hall, no knowing me, started into a full McGyver (not to be confused with a full Monty) to recover this check for me. I could have been a thief for all he knew - I could have stolen the baby just so they'd give me the check.