Game of Thrones has destroyed my life. If John Snow could hold a hand out through the television, I’d take it. I don’t care if he died and came back. I don’t care if he’d rather hunt White Walkers than settle down. And that he’s in love with Daenerys. We all still know he’s just a Millennial with his beard-grooming shears in his pocket and flannel shirt under all those furs.
But it’s Cersei that’s done me in. Because if Cersei, the worst mother in the history of mothers, the woman who grew a thing like Joffrey, can make me want to have another baby, then we’re all in trouble. Poison, poison, suicide. This is the fate of her first three children. What could you expect really? Too much of the same twisted gene sequence in the same pot. But when she announced that she was pregnant again, the first thing I thought was “hmmmm….”
I’ve already got three kids. I’ve got one on the verge of school-age and two halfway there. We’re so close to sanity. Why would I want to travel back to zero? Why would catch myself digging at the back of the cabinets behind the Nemo plates to see if we had any bottles left? Why would I suddenly miss that yellow and white striped onesie with the duck on the butt?
I’ll tell you why. Babies are sorcerers. Babies have some kind of voodoo magic over us that’s beyond logic. After hours (and sometimes days) of labor they tear out of our insides screaming like little demons, red-faced and slimy, and we hug them to us like kittens. They grow bigger and stronger and claw at our breasts with their squirrelly teeth, teeth that could cut through a nut. They begin to crawl, forcing us to turn our Pottery Barn living rooms into padded cells, the minimalist look without the cool-factor. They eat and regurgitate the spectrum of mashed foods, leaving us smelling like banana and sweet potato and puke. They poop and wipe it on the walls and themselves and us.
And yet, I still want one. I do. I want what Cersei has, minus the war and incest and really bad haircut. I want a little nugget of a person to grow and birth and love, even if it is a little sorcerer. Because, for better or worse, babies make life sweeter. They smell like freshly baked bread, yeasty and warm. They are so surprised by every single thing. “Oh, look my toe! Oh, look, there’s another one!” They trust us completely to answer their call. It’s why they keep screaming at four a.m. when you’re clutching your elbows and staring at the baby monitor whispering to yourself, “surely not, surely not again.” And their little hands, despite everything we’ve read that tell us it’s just reflex, cannot help but grab our own and hold so tight it makes you wish they would hold on forever.
But they don’t. They grow up. They grow up so fast that you can’t remember which corner of the attic you put that giant container of blankets and baby moccasins and knit caps. You can’t remember whether the Elmo face goes in front or back of the diaper. You can’t remember the last time you sat still in your living room, singing “You are My Sunshine” and holding a sleeping body in your arms. They grow and move and turn into blurs that run through the house like they own it, which they do. They own everything about us. And so, when I see Cersei whisper her news, I am reminded of those cuddles and songs and firsts and I am bewitched all over again.
*Linking up with Amanda.