Let me tell you about the first time I was humbled by my child.
Everyone kept telling me that I’d know I was about to go into labor once I started getting the urge to nest. I found that to be quite strange, as I’ve never had the urge to decorate much of anything in my life. Take my childhood bedroom, for example. Once I discovered that my favorite color was aquamarine, I decided to paint my room that color. It was a bit jarring when compared against the rest of our muted home, but I didn’t care. It was my favorite color and I was going to rock it. Then, on top of the wall, I plastered a bunch of posters of my favorite bands. I guess that makes sense when you’re twelve years old — like I was at the time — but I left my room exactly that way until I left for college. My poor mother was burdened with the task of bringing that room back to a state of decorated normalcy.
Despite my self-proclaimed “creative” disposition, I just. Don’t. Decorate. Period. (And Lord help me if I ever have to show up some place and look presentable. My fashion sense is almost as bad.)
But because every other mother on the face of the planet (read: planet = Pinterest) seemed to me to welcome their bouncing baby with a perfectly decorated nursery, complete with unique BUT SENSIBLE color palettes and adorable and probably handmade adornments, I figured I’d probably be no different, despite the glaring fact that that isn’t me.
When the 38th week of my pregnancy rolled around, I started to panic. That “nesting” urge had yet to kick in and our nursery was just an over glorified closet with a crib in it — boxes and bags of baby shower stuff that’d been thrown in there, piles of clothes that had yet to be washed or sorted, you name it. Babies R Us threw up in my kid’s room and, two weeks out from my due date, I’d had yet to do anything about it.
So I figured that if the urge to nest wasn’t going to organically appear, I had to force it. I started making lists. I color-coded those lists. I confided in other moms to make sure my lists made some semblance of sense. Then, I took my lists and used them to create a “Nesting Calendar” on Google. I shared that Nesting Calendar with my husband and declared quite boldly, “Dan! We’re going to NEST! We’re going to NEST because Google says so!”
The way my calendar worked out was that Monday, we’d do one project. Tuesday we’d do another, then one on Wednesday, and so forth, until Friday. At the end of that week, we’d have a nursery put together. Seems legit, right?
When the labor pains set in on Wednesday, I knew I was in trouble. Baby Dax showed up an entire week early, not even taking my Nesting Calendar into consideration. When we came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, I looked dejectedly in the still-closet-like nursery and sighed. I was already failing at being a mom.
Fast forward to today. Dax is nine and a half weeks old and the nursery STILL looks like a Babies R Us mine field. I’d take a picture but seriously you guys it’s so embarrassing. In order to get to the changing table, you’ve got to tip-toe around piles of new clothes, bags of breast milk storage, and towers of receiving blankets.
I’m writing this on my husband’s desktop in our bedroom. I can hear that Dax is starting to stir from his morning nap. The sound isn’t coming through a baby monitor; it’s in this room, right behind me. My sweet baby boy, the little child I was so worried about nesting for, refuses to sleep anywhere except our bed.
Not his crib. Not his not-yet-nested nursery.
It’s almost as if, from the womb, he could sense that I was doing preposterous things like making lists and Google calendars and decided he’d make a beeline out of my uterus that week to put a stop to it.
“Mommy,” I can almost hear him saying. “You’re not acting like my mom. You’re not acting like the woman to who was called to raise me. You’re acting like someone else. Please, just let the nursery be a mess. I won’t use it anyway. Can’t wait to meet you, Mommy, just the way you are.”