I started dreaming about our baby early on. It doesn’t happen often, but the first two dreams I had were basically about how MM and I would fail at parenting. Regardless of our real or imagined shortcomings as new parents, I kind of love having these dreams because I feel like, for brief moments, I’m “meeting” our little one. Of course, in addition to getting acquainted with baby, I’m also neglecting the baby, putting the baby in unsafe situations, forgetting that we have a baby, etc.
For ease of writing, I’ll admit that the baby in these dreams is always a girl (though I might have had a dream where an older boy was our kid). I think that is less because I am having a girl and more because I can only wrap my head around having a girl (which is why I’m pretty much convinced I’m having a boy). But for the sake of this “baby character” in the dreams, I’ll be using female pronouns.
In the first dream I had, we brought the baby home from the hospital, only to completely forget that she was there. I put her in a crib and went about my business forgetting to feed her, sooth her or otherwise change my routine to care for an infant. Every so often I’d be reminded by some divine dream force, that ‘oh right, I have a baby now,’ which lead to me continuing to ignore her. I’m not sure this scenario isn't possible in real life, but it didn’t exactly make me feel awesome.
The second dream was more detailed. MM and I decided to take our brand new baby to a big box store only to realize that we forgot to bring all of the ‘stuff’ you’re supposed to bring when you haul a baby out of the house. Things like (for instance) the diaper bag. When our baby ineviatably needed to be changed, MM and I headed into the store’s public restroom to manage the situation. Only we had no diapers. With the baby on the changing table, MM, always one to innovate, decided to try diapering her with a bib, which lead to me yelling at him about how you can’t diaper a baby with a bib (duh). Looking frantically around the bathroom for other sources of diaper-material (I mean, we were in a big box store... Target? Wal-Mart? We could have bought diapers), we left the baby alone on the changing table only for her to... you guessed it... roll off the table and on to the gross public restroom floor (and let’s be real, those Wal-Mart/Target bathrooms are always the worst).
Clearly, I have some doubts about our parenting abilities. Neither MM nor I has had significant experience caring for children of any age. Neither MM nor I has ever changed a diaper (unless you count MM’s attempt to diaper with a bib in the dream... I don’t). I have no doubt that we’ll manage. We’ve got to be as capable of any one of those 16 year olds on that MTV show. If they can do it, we can do it. And of course, we’ll take “how not to kill your newborn baby” classes, so we at least learn basic infant-care skills. We’ll be fine.
The good news is after several weeks of baby-free dreams, she showed up again lat night. And this time, we were mostly taking pictures of her and showing her off to friends and family. We weren’t really doing anything that proves we are ready for this whole parenting thing, but there was no neglecting, no forgetting we had a baby, no half-assed diapering solutions, no dropping her on the floor of a public restroom.
So baby steps, I guess.