"The baby" always provides a good excuse

Paula Brown

Lately I’m really starting to miss the days of having a newborn, or at least an infant. Sure, I totally long for the days of cuddling my little babies and relishing in all the “awwwwwness” of it, gazing into those big blue eyes and marvelling at the wonder of it all. But that’s not my reason for writing this.

I miss my free pass.

Having a new(ish) baby gets you out of all sorts of things. Don’t want to socialize? “Oh, gee, I’m sorry, I can’t make it, the little one needs a nap!” Can’t make it to an early morning commitment for whatever reason, probably because you just don’t freaking feel like it? “Oh, gee, I’m sorry, but the baby was up all night and we’re both a mess!”

The thought of seeing anyone or doing anything starting to send waves of panic up and down your spine because you’re covered in puke, your hair looks like Medusa on a good day, you most definitely will start uncontrollably sobbing the minute you try to open your mouth to speak to another human? It’s all totally fine. You’re allowed to look, feel, and basically be a bit off the rails when you have a baby! All you have to do is mutter the words “the baby…” and people immediately give you the out. It’s gold.

Haven’t been to get your annual checkup?

Oil change? Missed your anniversary dinner?

Forgot your own birthday? Haven’t folded laundry in a month? Let your oldest kid eat Doritos for dinner? Let yourself eat Doritos for dinner? Don’t worry, just blame “The Baby.” Nobody is going to argue with The Baby. It’s like the holy grail of excuses.

These days I have nobody to blame but myself for my inability to get it together. I mean, I can blame my kids, and rightly so, they usually do tend to wreak havoc on my mental state, but the fact is nobody will care about that anymore because they aren’t babies!

What am I supposed to say now? “Oh, gee, I’m sorry, I can’t make it. I’m wearing funky sweats because everything else is tight, I kind of forgot to take a shower today, my eyebrows haven’t been waxed in six months, I don’t even know what this bump on my face is, the thought of getting off the couch right now makes me want to cry, I just argued for fourteen straight minutes with my kid about socks, and honestly, really and truly just don’t want to do anything other than sleep for eight years and the thought of trying to look at you or anyone and smile right now makes waterboarding sound fun. Sorry.” You know what happens then? You’re just a lazy jerk.

A lazy, insane jerk.

Come to think of it, is this why all those laterinlife “surprise” babies come along? This isn’t going to happen to me, but I wouldn’t mind borrowing someone’s baby every now and then, or better yet, I’m considering just inventing one. Nobody ever has to see “The Baby,” right?

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