they come in peace (I hope)

Today, I have 6 month olds. I am still trying to wrap my mind around it, because in my crazy mom way of thinking, it’s like their babyhood is half over.

I’ve also recently come to a new understanding of the babies. I know in the past I’ve said that babies are pandas. And I still stand by that comparison. But I’ve come to a new way of understanding these tiny beings: they’re aliens, sent to learn about our way of life and report back to their people.

They watch us, but they don’t really understand what we’re saying, and we don’t exactly speak their language, either. They find our culture strange and often bewildering, but they’re generally willing to humor us, with our strange rituals and insistence on things like giving them baths and changing their diapers. They’re observing us and compiling data for their report to their leader, usually with a sort of detached wonder, the appropriate posture for a tiny scientist or anthropologist sent to another world, but occasionally their faces betray other emotions, and sometimes, they break down altogether under the strain of their difficult and top-secret mission.

I often wonder about the stories they’re going to take back to their leaders, but sometimes, when they scream in the middle of the night, I’m not so sure they really come in peace.

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