My friend, Kate and her husband brought home their newborn son, Charlie two weeks ago. They live directly below us, so I’ve gotten to spend some time with him. You forget how sweet a baby smells—like warm fragrant powder, milk and oatmeal. You forget how tiny and perfect their fingernails are and how their bottom lip curls when they sleep.
Kate’s husband is a firefighter and he has to sleep at the firehouse several nights a week. Last week my Mom spent a couple of nights at my condo to help out with JD. I told Kate I had a spare hand with JD, so if she needed any help to call me and I could come right down, especially at night when JD is sleeping. She called me last Thursday at 9:45 PM. I was reading (and eating frozen peanut M&Ms) and my Mom was watching Grey’s Anatomy in the living room. She asked me to come down and watch the baby so she could take her two dogs out for their final night walk. JD was fast asleep and my Mom was over so I walked down the stairs in my purple striped PJ pants, white V-neck t-shirt and socks. It felt like I was back in my college dorm visiting from room-to-room, ha.
The baby was sleeping in this rotating seat thing. I had a classic swing for JD, so I was impressed by this tiny carnival ride. Kate left with the dogs and I sat on the carpet and stared at Charlie. His hands were tucked in the attached gloves of his onesie. His pants were newborn size but looked big and he had no socks on. I looked at his little feet and studied his tiny toes, counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 in a whisper like I used to do with JD. His skin was still translucent and reddish. His toenails were tiny, thin, sheets of perfection. I cradled his left foot in my hand. It was warm and silky-soft. I kissed his foot.
When Kate walked in, the dogs ran to me and started yapping. Charlie woke up. I calmed the dogs down and Kate picked up her son. The dogs settled and I looked at my friend who I’ve known since I was a Freshman in high school. I must have had a face of both amazement and bewilderment on, because Kate said, “I have a baby!” with the same expression. “I kissed his foot!” I said. “Wanna hold my baby?” she said. (It was a comedic exchange.) I stood up and took Charlie in my arms, pressing him against my chest, one hand supporting his neck, the other cupping his little butt. I did a gentle two-step and hummed like I did, so many nights, alone in my one-bedroom apartment with JD.
I want another baby.
Single moms, would you ever do the Choice Mom thing for a second child?