I remember the last time this happened. I remember it well. My daughter, my first born, was 18 months old. She was rapidly leaving the baby world behind and had become a toddler complete with her newfound skills of running, climbing and shunning cuddle time with me. That’s when the baby lust began to creep in.
My husband and I weren’t sure we wanted to have another child. Actually, he was the one who was hesitant. I always pictured myself with two or three kids and and our first baby together was so easy, why not have another, I reasoned? My husband wasn’t that easily convinced. So I dropped hints, wept a few times and finally got my way. Six months later we were expecting Baby Number Two.
But now, Baby Number Two is 18 months old. And, guess what? Just like clockwork, here comes the baby lust. Wherever I go I see tiny babies cradled in their mother’s arms and my heart skips a beat. I see a fuzzy head peeking out from a sling and my knees go weak. I wasn’t prepared for this. Baby lust took me by surprise. Baby Number Three is not part of our plan. I’m very happy (and incredibly busy) with our two kiddos. Our family is complete. So why on earth is baby lust bugging me again?
I suppose it’s because my boy is no longer a baby and that baby stage, even though it wore me to pieces this time around, is a stage I will desperately miss: the soft coos, that sweet baby smell, the cuddling, the rocking, the intimacy of that tiny body pressed against mine.
Even in my darkest hours of sleep deprivation and the misery I experienced as I navigated my way through those treacherous first weeks of learning to be a mother to two, I lived for my baby’s smell, his adorable sounds, his scrunched up face.
My babies will never be that small, that dependent upon me ever again. And that exact realization must be what triggers my baby lust. Will it ever leave me alone? Or ten years from now–even twenty–will I still feel the familiar pang of longing when I see a peacefully sleeping newborn or when I hear a squawky cry emerge from a blanket? Does baby lust ever really go away?