Fetal attraction

One of my favorite girlfriends just had a baby.

My husband and I spent the day in the hospital waiting room with her family and other friends, waiting for the  birth. It was wonderful. We cried. I got to hold her.

I must admit, my first thought as she snuggled against me was that I wanted to have another one.

This was not my husband’s first thought. It was not his second, third or last thought either.

I had originally wanted a bigger family — at least three kids, but seven would be better.

As I swayed my girlfriend’s newborn daughter, my maternal urges were strong. I had to put myself back in the moment when I decided I didn’t want to have a third child. I had to take a mental trip to Disneyland.

We moved to California from Boulder when the kids were 2 and 4. Everybody in Colorado said the same thing to them: You’re gonna get to go to Disneyland all the time.

One morning, after we’d been here a few months, the kids, by then 3 and 5, bounded into my room saying let’s do it. They had decided it was a good day to make good on everyone else’s promise.

It was a Monday, and I was off work because I had gone in on Saturday. It was a good day to go.

I threw PB&Js and some fruit into my backpack, grabbed three windbreakers and we were off.

Here’s my life-changing moment.

We were waiting in line for the park’s railroad ride at the Toontown station. We waited behind a family with an infant.

The baby was in the beginning stages of a fuss, and the mommy was jostling it to no avail.

I could see her stress grow as time passed with no train. I could feel it myself. Minutes dragged out. If only that train would come.

The train kept not being there.

There was diaper checking, rattle wiggling, singing, more jostling. The baby just got noisier.

That train comes every 10 minutes, but ultimately it was too long. The mommy lost the contest and pulled out of line.

She struggled with the bulky diaper bag slipping around on her shoulder as she maneuvered her stroller with the arm that wasn’t managing the squirmy, noisy baby. In that hand she also held a bottle, which she had been fruitlessly trying to stick in the kid’s mouth so they could make it to the glorious moment when the train would arrive.

Her husband had their 5-or-so-year-old in tow, a balloon, a souvenir cup, a heap of sweatshirts and the camera.

I checked myself. I had a backpack.

I was in a totally different place now, I realized, and didn’t want to go back.

I was done.

And of course, as soon as they left, the train arrived.


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2 Responses to “Fetal attraction”

  1. Mike Says:

    Is the the time I went with you to Disneyland?

  2. T. Says:

    Nope. That was when we were visiting from Boulder. That was great fun.

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