Edgy Mama: I need a new baby

OK, I don’t really need a new baby, at least not of the human variety. I think I’m done with that—at least until I hit menopause and begin craving grandchildren. Right now, what I need is a new baby creature, preferably of the furry variety, to cuddle and nurture.

Enviro-spouse estimates that I’ve brought a new baby into our home—kitten, puppy or human—every three years on average. In truth, the time between new babies is decreasing. My puppy’s only 18 months old, and already I’m feeling the need for a new … something.

I must be getting too much sleep. No one’s waking me up every few hours to be fed or taken outside or comforted. You see, once my maternal instinct turned on—once my hormones conspired to convince me that my primary role in life is “mother”—I haven’t been able to rid my subconscious of that conviction. Of course, now I’m a mother forever, of two quickly growing humans, and yet I find myself pining for doe-eyed furballs, if not tiny toes and gurgling smiles.

Surely I’m not the only one dealing with maternalism gone wild?

Here’s my mothering story so far. My first baby was a black-and-white stray kitten named Gatsby (yes, I was getting my master’s degree in literature at the time). I was a flighty mother then, and the moment I got a pass out of the state of Georgia, I left Gatsby behind with my mom. He lived with her while I flounced from job to job and city to city. Six years after I’d abandoned Gatsby to what one friend called “Kitty Taj Mahal” (Gatsby had quite the pampered life with Mom), I brought the cat back to live with me and my new husband in Asheville. Gatsby was not impressed with his reduced standard of living after moving from the big city to a small apartment in north Asheville. He showed his displeasure by nipping Enviro-spouse’s toes in the middle of the night.

Soon after moving here, we were blessed with human baby No. 1, the girl. Gatsby didn’t like her much either, but he put up with her. Three years after that came human baby No. 2, the boy. Those early years are a blessed blur of mothering and kitty care in my momnesia-afflicted mind. Sadly, Gatsby died when my boy was 18 months old.

I cared for my kids, and you’d think that’d be enough. I knew that I didn’t necessarily want a third baby, but my maternally re-engineered soul yearned to care for something small and fuzzy.

So my friend, Nancy, and I left town for a girls’ night out, ostensibly to help me try to uncouple the boy from my breasts. We came home the next day with four tiny kittens. Nancy adopted two, and I took two.

Enviro-spouse was not amused.

But every time the boy said, “Nurse, nurse, Mommy!” I said, “Look at the cute kittens!” For male toddlers, at least, kittens can be more satisfying than boobs.

The tiny yellow fur balls grew up to become one thin cat named Houdini and one obese, demanding beast named, appropriately, Rocky. This was one of those clear cases of name determining destiny.

Then everyone started growing up. The kids became more and more self-sufficient. The cats only needed food, water and love on their terms.

I needed a new baby.

So we adopted Biscuit, the Dorkie-Poo mutt, this time with E-spouse’s grudging approval. He lifted the dog moratorium after the boy asked: “Mommy, can we get a dog when Daddy dies?”

But the babies—even scruffy little Biscy—are getting big. They’re no longer babies. What to do? Can someone turn this hormonal craziness off? Am I really going to need a new baby every two or three years from here on out? Help, please. But don’t tell me that you have a litter of adorable little creatures in need of a good home, or my marriage may suffer.

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11 thoughts on “Edgy Mama: I need a new baby

  1. Gratuitous

    Although I’m male, I, too have some weird maternal instinct that won’t shut off. Hence the new puppy. It hasn’t been a complete honeymoon though, as I’ve frequently been angry at her inability to NOT POOP ON MY ALREADY-TRASHED-BY-KIDS CARPET. But, she’s getting better, and she now mostly focuses on the bathroom floor (moppable, but somehow the aura is still there) and oh, is it ever cute when she puts herself into time-out before I can even smell the steam. Plus, she sleeps on her back in the crook of my arm the whole night with all four paws in the air, and my hand on her soft and warm little belly. Not the same as a left breast, but it’ll do while I’m waiting.

  2. Gene Maudlin

    “…can we get a dog when Daddy dies?” One of the best lines in all of b**gdom. Whee!!

  3. restless

    Caculate how much money you have spent on the biscuit since he graced your home, including destroyed carpets, watches, etc. Consider it your “kitty” for drinking all your favorite micro brews at all your favorite bars without any guilt whatsoever.

  4. Gratuitous

    My point was, EM, is that you have enough. But it’s always good to have more.

  5. Gratutitous, I think that pup of yours will not be looking kindly on being replaced by a left breast.

    Supermom, cuteoverload is dangerous! Did you see the baby bunnies? OMG! I have to remember that they would be considered prey by my cats.

  6. Gratuitous

    I wanted to be supporting of your urges, EM, but I’m not so sure now. My puppy just humped my leg. She’s a girl. I’m deeply disturbed. Although even that was sorta cute.

  7. Rio

    Now you know how I have ended up with two cats and two dogs in addition to the two kids. And still wanting more…

  8. Gratuitous

    I’ve been thinking about the Enviro-Spouse. The roles may be reversed in our cases, but I was once sent out for goldfish and came home with a puppy, so I know about that look (what the hell is this / oh so cute). But you should know about us guys… as I’m sure you do… we eat it up. We’re paternal. We feel powerful when we are surrounded by mammalian dependents. Whether we’re the alpha-type or not, we love the alpha role at home. We gotta be cool about it, though. Some of those warm-bloods are sentient, and it wouldn’t do to walk around all lordly and majestic all the time, not that it’s so easy to do in striped pajamas anyway. But still, whatever you bring home will be welcomed, as it always has before. Your marriage won’t suffer. You’ll have even more to talk about.

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