By Katie Moosbrugger
It hit me like a ton of bricks. First it happened at my son’s preschool. Then again near the YMCA daycare. Both times it made me stop dead in my tracks. Part of me experienced an overwhelming sense of sadness, while another part of me just wanted to savor it.
What, or who, was doing this to me? It wasn’t a physical being of any sort. It was “new baby smell.” You know, that undeniable scent of diapers and baby powder. What? I know it sounds crazy but it seems like ages since I had a good whiff of either. I’m just not around baby stuff anymore, and the fragrance was welcoming. It was unexpected. And it was a little overwhelming. In fact, I actually sensed a longing for another baby!
Hold on…don’t expect me to be out crib shopping anytime soon. I have always been one to say I would have a million babies if I could pop them out at six months of age – when they are already sitting up, sleeping through most of the night, and according to my personal calendar – done with breastfeeding. I loved having my two babies when they were babies – and I cherish those memories – but I was also ready and willing for them each to pass their milestones and enter the “independence” stage of childhood.
Like I said I am rarely around babies anymore. When I am – I love them, hug them, cuddle them – but I’m always ready to give them back. I’ve definitely become accustomed to the life of a “seasoned” mom versus a “new” mom. Life seems a lot more hectic than ever before (actually I know life as a “new mom” seems just as hectic), but I like it this way. I used to want to hold on to naps for as long as possible, but frankly, I’m glad to be past that stage.
But that “new baby smell” – that’s some powerful stuff! When it hit me in the halls of preschool and the Y, I think I felt sadness because it made me realize my “babies” are no longer babies. My youngest will be starting Kindergarten next fall. We kicked the diaper and Pull-Ups habit months ago. We barely ever use baby shampoo. All things baby in our house are virtually non-existent.
I never would have thought the “new baby smell” would hit me like it did. Nor did I ever expect it to bring a yearning for another baby. It all seems so final, and it makes me sad. Those chapters are over but I’m excited for what’s in store. Maybe for now I’ll just sprinkle some baby powder on the carpet in my kids’ rooms and settle for that – at least for as long as my kids will let me.
Can you relate? Have you ever had a yearning for another child – long after you thought you were “done”? And if so, what triggered it?
Photo Courtesy of Portraits by Deborah