We had a baby last year. Maybe you heard. We like her. A lot. Like, a whole, whole lot. Even when she wakes up five times in the middle of the night and then politely declines to sleep during the day, we still like her. She's cute and sweet and smells like baby. We've scientifically determined that she's very likely the most-kissed human being that ever lived. Her brother Sam is mildly (i.e. totally) obsessed with her and calls her "Babe Mae" and alerts us to the fact that she actually belongs to him, and only him. Trespassers be warned.
In light of this perfect little pink bundle of joy that's been added to our family, I need to explain some things to you in case you've had concerns or questions or felt any confusion regarding my having morphed into something of a yoga pant-wearing space cadet who shows up 15 (i.e. 20) minutes late to stuff and occasionally tells you things I told you yesterday, and maybe also the day before.
Granted, last year was a bit of a drain on the personality as well, considering my body was busy making a small person for 40 weeks. (Side note: I feel that 40 weeks should add up to 10 months while my husband very passionately disagrees with this assessment. However, I think carrying around 30 pounds of baby for what I like to call 10 months would give him a fresh perspective on how many months 40 weeks actually equal. But, I digress.) Still, I like to think I retained some semblance of myself during that season of life, if you don't count the first 17 weeks.
Flash forward to this year and it turns out that retaining any semblance of a normal self is pretty much out of the question due to sleep deprivation and the 24/7 nature of raising two small people. At times, I find that I am disappointed with myself when I can't seem to show up on time for literally anything or I haven't cleaned our bathroom in a (shockingly) long period of time or I haven't changed out of yoga pants for days on end.
On such a day when I was lamenting our late arrival to church, being approximately thirty minutes behind schedule, our friend Zach pronounced these magic words to me: "It's a Baby Year." And, there was great rejoicing (on my part, atleast) at this revelation.
Basically, "It's a Baby Year" is the answer to every question you could ask me right now:
"Are you coming to my parents' 64th anniversary cruise send-off in Panama City this spring?" Well, it's a Baby Year, so probably not.
"Would you like to become a sales rep for my pet jewelry pyramid marketing team?' It's tempting, but I'm having a Baby Year.
"Have you read that article about the most interesting thing that ever happened in the history of things happening that everyone is talking about on social media?" Hm. I don't think I've seen that yet. It's a Baby Year, so I'm not really reading words during these 12 months.
Seriously, I'm feeling all kinds of freedom now that I've accepted that it is indeed a Baby Year.
If you've had a baby recently or have a friend who's had one, you may need some help understanding the ins and outs of the 12 months of a Baby Year. Here are a few examples of things that the "I'm having a Baby Year" response covers which may shed some light on what's going on with you or that friend you have concerns about:
Awkward laughter at ill-timed moments in a conversation - It's a Baby Year and you get jokes hours after you first hear them. Also, Baby Year laughter is sometimes inexplicable. The line between sanity and insanity is startlingly closer than during a normal year.
Odd fashion statements - During a Baby Year, wearing navy and black or black and brown or purple and green together is really just par for the course. Just decide for yourself that everything matches yoga pants and getting ready in the morning will require fewer brain cells.
The inability to recognize any political figure or celebrity - A Baby Year means that anything or anyone that isn't directly related to you or your baby in some real, bring-me-a-diaper-please way is pretty much inconsequential.
Potential breakdowns over important decisions like what to cook for supper or what color to paint the garage - Breakdowns are a normal part of a Baby Year, so just accept that questions as simple as deciding whether to go to the grocery store now or not now are totally legitimate reasons for crying into a bag of chocolate chips.
Zero word choice - Basically, this means that during a Baby Year most, if not all, monosyllabic words are out. Because, does a baby really need to hear words like "hypertension" or "idiosyncratic" or "obsequious?" I think not.
Losing one's train of thought mid-sentence - Sometimes this happens multiple times in one conversation and learning how to casually walk away from a conversation is a handy tool in your Baby Year arsenal.
Total inability to show up anywhere on time. Ever. - Despite having an iPhone on your person at all times, you will inevitably have no idea what time it is throughout the day. And, even if you do, by some miracle, make it to the car with the potential of being somewhere ON TIME, someone will inevitably poop or be unable to find the only shoe in the universe that they could possibly wear to the grocery store. Also possible, mid-exit simultaneous meltdowns by all children in your charge.
And there you have it. A guide to your Baby Year. An all-encompassing answer to every question, every problem, every need to excuse your XXX large bag of chocolate chips in the pantry.
Go forth in freedom from pressure and guilt and expectation and enjoy this Baby Year with all the gusto you can possibly muster.
Or take a nap if it's humanly possible.
Happy Baby Year!