I had a funny conversation with a lady yesterday. She had written down her daughter’s name, which was very long and spelled creatively, and I asked how it was pronounced. It was really a pretty name, and I said so. She rolled her eyes and said, “I hate it. I didn’t give it to her.” So I asked who had.
She said, “My mother, my sister, and my aunt. I was knocked out, and when I came to, they had named my baby. They gave her that first name and four more. She got five names, and I was so mad!”
Maybe that’s what happened to Uma Thurman’s most recent baby.
I’d have been mad, too! You do all that work to grow that baby, and then you do all that work to get that baby out, and you don’t even get a say in what to name it? No thank you.
But, I think I’ve hit upon why second time parents (and third, and fourth, and more) are more lenient with all the children after the first.
That’s Sandra Bullock taking her son home from a playdate. He clearly doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t look (from the other photos, at which I stared for way too long making myself a horrible hypocrite about the paparazzi because that baby is just the most darling thing ever) like he’s throwing a fit. He’s just sad to be leaving.
I looked at that little face and it reminded me so much of Thor, and it reminded me so much of how sad he used to be when we would leave the park. All chub and sweetness, suddenly so sad because he had no concept of time, and leaving the playground meant leaving!the!playground!forever! in his vernacular. He was never horrible about it, but he would be so sad.
In that instant, earlier today, I wanted to go back in time and let Thor play for just a little longer. And I wanted to squeeze his fat, little legs, and I wanted to kiss his little pink cheeks and love on his squishy little baby body, and I was telling my past self, “You let that baby stay out there and play! It isn’t going to kill you to let that baby play ten more minutes!”
I imagine if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would know more of what to sweat, and what to swat aside. That’s why only children and first children have it the hardest. Because their parents have no idea how anything works, and they err to the side of caution. At least, that is true of me.
But my goodness, I can’t wait to get home to my boy tonight, and tickle his long, skinny legs, and kiss his sweaty face, and hug his bony body.