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A good baby

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You’ve heard it a million times. That question. You know, the one that makes you want to second guess your answer. Whether you’re at the grocery store, out shopping, on a walk or at the bank. You let complete strangers gawk at your barely vaccinated child during flu season and then, as if they actually want to sit down and hear the real answer they have the audacity to ask, “Is she a good baby?”.

Sure, everyone loves a baby. What’s not to love? They’re warm, soft, and not yet vocal enough to tell you off, bundles of absolute joy. But why is everyone so obsessed with having “A Good Baby” and what does that even mean? Does it mean sleeping though the night? Meeting their milestones? Not puking on my third attempt at a clean shirt that day? Does it mean taking a bottle instead of demanding to have my boob? Do they sit quietly? Or could it mean they refrain from having a diaper blowout the one time I forget to pack a spare onesie?

Who knows. But whoever is asking, here you go — Yes, she’s pretty cute. Thank you. But please don’t touch. No, she doesn’t sleep through the night. She sat up a little late but makes up for it by puking on me all the time. She won’t take a bottle. My boob is the only thing she wants and I have nightmares about breastfeeding her as she packs for college. Quiet? No. She practically barks at me. And lastly, she saves her blowouts for the exact moment I’m not prepared and when my husband is conveniently in the shower.

Good thing she’s cute, right?

Every time I have to answer this question I feel bad about the honest answers that are swirling around in my head. Not to mention these babes don’t come with a return policy. As moms we know “A Good Baby” isn’t defined by the answers to these questions. There is no way to measure the moments of bliss felt during a nursing session, the amount of giggles you’ve tickled out of them that day, or the number of moments you wish you could freeze so that you could just live there. In that moment, forever. I have “A Good Baby”, or at least a semi-normal one, because this baby is mine. It took me nine months to make this little poop factory and she can be as high maintenance as she wants because I’ll love her just the same.

So, Momma. My advice to all of you answering this question today is to smile and say “yes”. Because regardless of how sleep deprived and puke stained you might be there is “A Good Baby” looking up at you with big, loving eyes thankful that you are such “A Good Mom”.

Whatever that means.

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