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Babies on Aisle Seven

My three-year-old daughter thinks everything comes from Costco. Amusing, yet horrifying. She recently asked for a baby brother and we jokingly asked, “Well, where are we going to get a baby brother?” Without skipping a beat, she said, “Costco.”

Right. Costco. Where you can buy bulk toilet paper, a giant box of cereal, and a lighted palm tree. Or perhaps milk, eggs, and a sofa. I guess it’s not much of a stretch in her mind to think that a baby would be easily obtained from a warehouse store that can sell you such a diverse array of goods. And while she’s too young to actually explain where babies come from, I’m not sure that allowing her to believe babies can be picked up on aisle seven is a great idea either. But this response does nothing but make me laugh as I picture what that would actually be like.

My pregnancy with her wasn’t a piece of cake. I felt like a bloated cow with bad hair for most of it. There was nothing “glowing” about me. If I could have skipped all this and simply picked her up at Costco, well … let me tell you, I’d be a very satisfied customer!

Of course I am biased, but I ended up with the cutest, smartest, funniest baby with the best personality I have ever met (apologies to my older, brooding ten-year-old son whose baby years I’ve now forgotten). If Costco were selling Eleanors, I’d have been that customer with the flatbed cart buying up all of them. But back to reality: she decided to make me go through my entire pregnancy arriving only one day before her actual due date. By then, my back and legs hurt so much that the pain was blurring my perception of time. Every hour seemed like an entire day.

In contrast to my first pregnancy, the delivery part went pretty smoothly. After all, she was about half out anyway for the last month or so. At least it felt that way. And once it was all over, my brain started to produce that chemical that somehow erased all the misery I felt during those excruciating nine months. “I could do this again,” I thought to myself. “It wasn’t all that bad.” I guess that’s how our species survives—mothers suffering from postpartum amnesia.

But I turned the big 4-0 last week. Having another baby or rather, going through another pregnancy, seems unthinkable to me at this point. Maybe it’s the scary baby math (adding forty to determine how old you’ll be when that child is twenty, thirty, etc.) or just the thought that I’d miss so much of my daughter’s next year because I’d probably experience many of the same symptoms and overwhelming fatigue. In any event, I guess we are done with babies. And while I would love it if Eleanor had been twins or even triplets, I’m grateful for my one original little work of art.

So one day I’ll have to explain that babies do not, in fact, come from Costco. Because if they did, she’d have fifty sisters all named Eleanor.

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