Earlier this month, I visited one of my girlfriends and met her newborn baby boy. Before the summer of 2013, this type of thing would have terrified me. The thought of holding someone else's baby? I was never completely comfortable with the idea of it, mostly because I couldn't think of a single thing that required me to be more careful than a tiny person loved by one of my BFFs (aside from my unopened copy of the Backstreet Boys' 2000 album Black And Blue, which is still in the shrink-wrap and will surely be worth enough to someday fund my kiddo's college tuition). Before I was a mom, I thought babies were cool and all, but I would've preferred for them to stay a safe distance away from me and what I was convinced were my decidedly non-child-proofed arms.
What changed, you might ask? Well, the summer of 2013 was when I got pregnant. In between feelings of terror and excitement, I noticed that other babies offered a fascinating glimpse into my own future. Did the baby seem happy? Did mom seem happy? What was the baby wearing? Where could I get jammies like that? I wanted to know everything about babies, and their parents (which is now the lens I viewed my friends through — they weren't "my friends" to my pregnant eyes; they were "that baby's parents who can teach me things.") As it turns out, your perception of babies and parenthood does a radical one-eighty as soon as you find yourself knocked up. (I know, what a shocking revelation.)
Now that I have a walking, talking, swinging, laughing toddler, babies are an adorable peek at my past (and potentially my future; the jury is still out on that one). When I'm around other little ones, no longer do I feel as shy or scared or hesitant. In fact, I'm typically so full of warm fuzzies that all I'm capable of articulating is how wonderful newborns smell.
We all know how most non-parents act around babies: vaguely concerned and nervous about the responsibility of even breathing the same air as them. But what are you like around a fresh babyfriend after you've had one yourself? It's almost hilariously different. Here's a breakdown of how this actually looks: