babies & cats: pretty much the same, right?

man. i took it upon myself to sweep the living room, which had not been touched in over a week. i did what i always do when i sweep the living room, which is close the closet door next to jared’s desk (he loves to leave it open, which is also his attitude toward all doors, & drawers, & practically anything else that can be opened but ought to be closed). about an hour later, jared told me he heard a banging noise, but i didn’t hear anything over the sounds of the air conditioner, box fan, & ceiling fan (it’s been consistently over 100 degrees for over a week, with no end in sight), & told him he must be imagining things–perhaps the hobo that we pretend lives in the basement.

eight hours later, i gave charlotte her evening meal, but she didn’t come a-running like she usually does when she hears kibble hit her bowl. i checked her cat bed, but it was empty. i checked my closet, where she has recently been hanging out (i leave it cracked for her during the day). i looked under the bookcases in the living room & even under the bathtub. i checked the foyer & started to panic, trying to remember if there was any point today when the front door might have been open & she could have escaped without attracting our attention. then jared looked in his closet, & a dazed, neglected charlotte emerged from within, blinking & looking sad (maybe i’m projecting).

jared & i had a good laugh, since i often try to predict my own parenting abilities based on how well i feel i parent charlotte. this was a major cat parenting fail. probably every cat parent inadvertently shuts their cat in a closet at some point, but not all cat parents are extrapolating their cat-rearing abilities to their projected parenting skills, especially when the hypothetical baby in question is cooking as we speak. but i was pretty amused at the thought of being such a ridiculously neglectful parent that i would shut my baby in a closet for eight hours & not notice until it fails to come running for its evening feeding.

of course i posted about this incident on facebook because, for those readers that are not my facebook friends, i basically use facebook to broadcast all of my failings & foibles. if someone was trying to get a bead on my competence as a human based solely on my facebook updates, i would definitely come up lacking. one of my mom friends commented & was all, “don’t worry, your baby will roll off the couch eventually! it happens!” i was kind of like, “…okay…will my baby roll off the couch & into a closet which then latches? because that’s what i’m talking about.” but instead i just made a remark about how i’d feel bad if i shut my kid in a closet (unless the kid really had it coming…kidding! kidding!). she was all, “LOL! babies are nothing like cats! you would definitely notice a baby missing before you’d notice a cat!”

O RLY? babies AREN’T like cats, you say? this…really changes things. i thought babies were EXACTLY like cats. the only difference i could see is that babies are easier to dress because there’s no pesky tail to get in the way (if you’re lucky). surely babies are self-cleaning & can be trained to poop in a box. i had been planning to just set out some dry cheerios & a bowl of milk on the floor every morning & let the kid feed itself. but in light of this alarming new information that babies are not like cats…i may have made a huge mistake. is anyone in the market for a (hopefully) healthy white infant? i’ll trade it for a cat.

seriously, i know i don’t make myself look good on facebook but i’m not THAT dumb.

on a different, but still baby-related, note, i went to the fabric store today to make some final choices for the baby quilt chepina & i are making. one of the employees asked if i needed any help & i explained i was making a baby quilt & was going to need a quarter-yard of a bunch of a different fabrics, blah blah blah. she asked, “do you know the gender of the baby you’re making the quilt for?” i said no. she kind of paused & then asked, “then how do you know what fabrics you want?” because surely i’ll want army green patterned with naked women for a boy & hot pink sequins for a girl, right? jesus christ. can’t i just pick out some cute fabrics with animals & stuff on them & call it a day?

i did select my fabrics & a different employee cut it for me. when she got to some pink fabric patterned with elephants, she said, “oh! it’s a quilt for a girl.” i said no, it’s a quilt for a baby, & we won’t know the gender until january, & boys can enjoy pink too, especially if some fucking elephants are involved because elephants are the bomb. she started rambling on about how keeping the gender a surprise is such a nice idea but it will be hard for us to shop for baby supplies. i said, “no, i’m pretty much just going to get pink stuff because i like pink & if it’s a boy, he’ll have a lot of pink.” she tried to recalibrate & was like, “well, babies don’t care…dress him in pink when he’s a baby because he’ll never be able to wear it again!” um…unless he wants to? some boys like pink. jared is a boy & he wears pink. what the hell, lady! finally jared said, “if we do have a boy, i hope that he never spends one minute worrying about his baby quilt being appropriately masculine,” & she finally dropped it.

a couple weeks ago, jared & i went to the gap outlet in topeka. the clerk asked me if i was looking for anything in particular. i asked about maternity wear & she said they didn’t have any (curses! i refuse to pay full-price for maternity clothes). then she asked, “are you pregnant?” “yes,” i said. “do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” she asked. “no,” i said. “oh. because i was gonna say, everything at baby gap next door is 60% off. if you knew what you were having, you could get some clothes for the baby. i guess maybe you could get an outfit for each?” or, here’s a radical thought, i could get what i think is cute regardless of gender cues because it’s not like a baby gives a flying fuck.

i know this is only the beginning. i guess i just wasn’t expecting it to start so early! poor little narwhal. everyone wants to know about its junk.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

One thought on “babies & cats: pretty much the same, right?

  1. “O RLY? babies AREN’T like cats, you say? this…really changes things. i thought babies were EXACTLY like cats”

    nearly died laughing

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