I've been downloading and processing the drawerful of mini DV tapes, mostly from after Ben was born, with a few of just dogs and Andy and me from before. I'm mostly doing it because I want to make a DVD for my father-in-law, who never gets to see the kid, and because it's something I've been meaning to get around to that's way more fun than vacuuming, but it's also rather a handy review of babyhood for someone who's going to give birth (Inshallah, knock wood, no jinx) in three months.
The funny thing is, what I'm surprised by isn't the hard stuff, which I remember vividly, but the sweet stuff. Of course, you don't tend to videotape the fourth straight hour of crying, the epic diaper, the inability to eat at restaurants. You tape the dog giving the baby foot kisses, the baby digging the swing, the baby gumming tasteful European wooden toys. But Ben was a tough newborn, and the former stuff has loomed much larger in my mind than the latter, and I confess to being a little freaked out at the thought of going through it all again, especially since this time we'll be subjecting our happy pre-schooler to the misery, too.
I wasn't a big fan of babies before my own was born. I believed the people who said you'll love your own even if you don't like babies at all -- or at least hoped very hard that they were right. And of course they were. And I was even fond of other babies when my baby was a baby, but the interest faded quickly. Now I find babies vaguely creepy and offputting again, though I can generally work up the requisite enthusiasm when presented with a baby belonging to someone who matters to me. Once they hit six months or so and aren't quite so fragile-looking, I even find them cute, but I feel no particular desire to hold one or do more than make a face to get smiled at. I wanted another baby not because I wanted another baby, but because I wanted another toddler.
But looking a these videos, I don't know. He's awfully cute with his super-fat cheeks and thigh rolls, giggling in his doorway bouncer and giving the dogs open-mouth kisses. Maybe having a baby around again will be pretty nice after all.