It was the type of dream that makes you startle awake, cold, and go check to see if your children are still breathing.
Fortunately for me, I had a child close at hand. I grabbed Bubby and snuggled him close to my chest. This, of course, gave him the idea he had to eat immediately and he started head butting my chest.
There’s nothing that makes you feel more needed than a baby attempting self-inflicted brain damage in a desperate plea for food.
As I was burping the poor cherub I started thinking about the things I’m grateful I can do that set me apart from an infant. Because I’m all about sharing the love and making you think, I’m sharing those important life skills with you:
1. Burp. Burping is an under rated skill. In our country it’s rude to burp in public – and sometimes in front of your mother – but the reality check? It’s awesome as adults we know how to relieve our own belly gasses. Consider how awkward it would be if after every meal we had to ask someone else to pound our backs or jiggle us around!
2. Teeth. Teeth are terribly underappreciated! Not only do we have to live in agony as children to grow them, we would never have the intense satisfaction of gnawing on a Jolly Rancher or eating corn on the cob without them.
3. Wipe Myself. Alright, I’ve read Tuesdays with Morrie and I do recognize there are Depends for a reason… but at this stage in life I can’t help but be glad I’m capable of hitting the bathroom up on my own and being assured of a clean outcome after an encounter with the porcelain throne. At some point diaper changes are as annoying for the baby as they are for the parent.
4. Ride Forward-Facing. Next to the obvious benefit of being able to drive because I face forward, seeing where I’ve been is a lot less exciting than checking out what’s coming up!
5. Walk. A baby is a lump of helplessness. Once you plop them somewhere they can’t move. You put them in the crib? In the crib they stay. Set them in a swing? They’re swingin’ to the sound of the clicking sway until they’re relieved by someone larger and more mobile than themselves. I like being able to choose my own destiny. Walking helps with that.
6. Swallow vitamins. The time is coming when I put horrible-smelling squirts of Poly-Vi-Sol in the rice cereal. This is a horrible way to take vitamins. Best? Flinstones. Next best, swallowing them all at once and being done with it for the rest of the day.
7. Startle Reflex. I startle my baby for fun. There’s something incredibly enjoyable about crinkling a bag of chips next to him and seeing him throw his arms up in the air and stretch his legs stiff and straight while gasping audibly. However, if I still possessed the startle reflex as an adult… I imagine that would be the deal breaker for holding on to a job. Like banking. I bet I’d get shot if I kept jumping up and waving my arms in terror if I worked as a bank teller.
8. See. As a survivor of lasik surgery I can vouch for the fact seeing is believing. My little one cannot see anything yet (a fact that causes him to look relatively dumb at least 60% of the day). I’m so happy to focus on objects farther than 12 inches away from me.
9. Hold My Own Neck. While it might be kind of fun to have a personal attendant following me around most of the time holding my head up (kind of like the banner bearers in the Olympics) I imagine it would get old. And how would I incorporate anything I pin on Pinterest if at any moment my head would flop to the side??!
10. No Soft Spot. Technically I know I had a soft spot as an infant, but it’s been decades since I had to worry about the soft pulse of possible doom. Seriously… a baby has a direct link into the brain and we just accept that as A-OK. I know I’m hard headed but I can’t help but feel blessed the soft chunneling into my brain activity is closed to visitors.
Have I missed any reasons you have for being glad to be an adult instead of an infant?