“She came out all pink!” the nurse informed me.
I was shocked. I had no recollection of the birth – like a polar bear waking up after a cozy hibernation, finding that she had birthed a cub in the meantime. And to make the whole thing even more traumatic – it was a SHE! A very pink SHE… and I am not referring to her skin tone. She was dressed in hot pink leather pants (leopard print) and a lace-adorned shirt... lipstick... pierced ears... This is uncharted territory!
But she’s here, she’s mine (how on earth…?) and I have to deal with it (I mean with her.) So I ventured into the most universal, cross-gender activity common to all babies: eating. In our house that means (for newborns) nursing. She opened her mouth wide – traditionally a good sign! Except… her intentions for that open mouth was not to eat… it was to speak!
“I will not nurse” she declared.
WHAT? That she came into this world already dressed (in pink) was one thing, but now to already possess an unprecedented vocabulary and a questionable attitude was just a little over the top. It took me several minutes to find both my breath and voice. But when I finally did, it was with every bit of “oppositional personality” I’ve been labeled with in years past and every inch of hormonal fire I could muster (quite easily) postpartum.
“Well, little girl, if you will not nurse, you will not eat. That’s the only food available to you” I returned. (I wanted to add: “EVER!” But Scott always reminds me not to utter a threat I cannot or will not follow through on.)
She stuck to her resolve: “I am not little and I will not nurse.”
Not good. She was only a few hours old and we had already arrived at checkmate.
“O.K.” I shrugged, “then I’ll just be on my merry way and go home without you.” (This statement was of course a mean manipulation and supposed to send her crying into my arms with a “please don’t leave me!” plea. Instead she shrugged back with a nonchalant: “O.K., see ya!”
So I left the hospital without her.
I woke up.
No hot-pink-leopard-laced baby to argue with me.
Still time to work through my pink fears…
Photo courtesy of Tim&Annette Gulick