There's just something special about having someone else's poop under your fingernails
So the little one turned six months old. No, we did not have fancy celebrations - I've always found these "Oh look, we've dated for 100 hours" -things kinda contrived. But we've progressed pretty far: from being a stimulus-response package to a solid-eating poop machine with a charming personality and a will, though not yet the means, to be self-motile.
While it's really amazing to see the changes in the kid, I've also been quite fascinated by the changes we, the parents, are going through. People did warn me in advance that "everything changes". I disagreed then, and I still do: I still put on my pants one leg at a time, just like before. Then again, I am a trained physicist, so my definitions of "everything" and "change" are probably not the same as everybody else's. But I have to admit I have a far better understanding of what they meant now.
You see, the stuff they don't mention is that your brain changes. It's not the lack of sleep, nor the responsibility, nor the lack of free time, nor the rearrangement of the priorities, nor the endless discussion about poop - but the fact that hormones jump into your brain and play a little whack-a-mole with your personality. The mothers notice this more clearly (or not, but usually everybody around them does), since the changes are more radical, but yeah, it works the same way for the non-pregnant adults in the family too, even men.
And because all of this, you actually start to enjoy playing endless, mindless games like Peekaboo. You don't really mind poking into the diaper with a finger to check whether the smell has attained a solid form. You cherish waking up two hours earlier than usual just because the kid looks so insanely happy to see you and flashes his big, toothless grin just at the sight of your face when he manages to wake you up. You start finding Peter Pan anxiety-inducing because the children are left to survive on their own. Dead Baby -jokes stop being funny. And a dark corner of your mind knows that if this was because of anyone else, you would've already brought out the shotgun. It's love, Jim, but not as we know it.
Yeah, my brain is totally bonkers. And that changes the way you experience things, and, in some definitions, changes everything - and that is why it is so difficult to be prepared for parenthood. Even if you have read every single Dr Spock equivalent there is, and have spent tons of time babysitting other kids, you will still get mindfucked by the experience. You'll have a million generations of primordial survival/breeding instinct kicking in, and it gets really hard to keep the education in mind in all that turmoil.
But it's okay. It's what all animals are supposed to do, and these instincts and changes are there for a good reason. And who are we to argue with ourselves anyway?
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