Baby F is sleeping and I have a moment to myself. I finish folding laundry. I think about cleaning the kitchen counters but instead I brush off the bits of dirt that came loose when I unwrapped the potted tulip that’s sitting there. All red with yellow insides, opening coquettishly.
Last weekend a friend told me about how tiny dogs are being bred to fit into purses but are developing terrible health problems in the process. I already knew this but she seemed pretty rocked so I went along.
It is though, actually. These dogs are just not meant to be that small.
Did you know that human newborns are the most vulnerable, under-developed mammal at birth? Our little brains are only 25% developed when we come out of incubation. It’s because of the mother’s physiology – as upright walkers, we can only grow the baby so much and still be able to safely birth it.
No other animal needs to care for their young in the way that humans do.
I want to love my red and yellow tulip, but I have this ominous feeling it will die in here. My Valentine’s day roses fell and wilted in a matter of days. This can’t be good.
I’ve become comfortable with the untidy mess of my house. On account of I’m caring for a human infant twenty-four hours a day. And I’m used to disappointing my partner who will come home and see the counter I brushed off but didn’t clean and he will just see a slightly dirty counter. I imagine that he imagines this is some negative reflection on me, but to be honest I don’t know if that’s true.
Another friend recently told me about her experience getting on anti-anxiety medication. She’s been on it for about eight months. Is that past the honeymoon stage? I thought so, but I don’t know. She says the meds have profoundly increased her enjoyment of life.
She’s a mother, by the way. I wonder how I would do with a little medication…
I wonder how it went as we evolved to upright walkers – as our physical bodies put limits on the development of our babies, did our emotional intuitiveness expand so that we could care properly for our newborns? Or is it possible that we gradually developed this immense capacity for caregiving, and that meant we could start to stand on two feet?
I googled “are tulips naturally two-toned?”. Nothing but ads for tulips.
You know what? I will keep this tulip alive because it might be a genetically modified mutant. And that seems unfair. I’m going to water it for all those poor tiny dogs.
I can do this because I’m the master nurturer of the animal kingdom.
Even when unmedicated.
And for this, I don’t know whether to say thank you or you’re welcome. I think both.