Future Daddy

Marrying a man who liked kids was a must.

I adore children. I’ve got big plans to teach them, work with them, foster them, and/or raise five or six of them (both biological and adopted). Erich’s not quite there yet with all of those plans, but he finds children generally agreeable. He didn’t grow up changing younger siblings’ diapers or teaching preschool at the age of seventeen, so much of his baby love is theoretical.

We talk a bunch about future mommy- and daddy-hood. Hopefully, our first child will be a girl, because we already fought a tooth-and-nail battle over what to name her, and called a truce over a beautiful name that I won’t share with you in case we never have a girl. But we talk about her, as both a specific future child we’re excited to meet and as a catchall for future Stegersauruses. We talk about how we’re going to raise her, what we want her to know, what we’ll read to her, and what hobbies we’ll introduce her to.

Baby Stegersaurus is a long way from coming into existence, but already, I’m trying to consciously let go of the Psycho Control Freak belief that I, as the mother, as the person who has worked with children literally my whole and read all the parenting articles, am the Primary Caretaker Who Knows Best. I’m starting right now to make space in my thinking for Erich’s unique take on parenting and interacting with children.

So it’s been fun to watch him get to know our niece, the sweet and screaming Ella. At first, Erich declined to hold her and commented mostly on her projectile vomiting skills. (In his defense, she aimed one squarely for his open mouth.)

But this past Easter weekend, he shocked me by asking to hold the baby while her parents took a much-needed break. When thirty minutes passed, I hunted them down. I discovered Erich walking around in the spring weather and murmuring the tiny bit of Spanish he’d learned from his Mexican coworkers. “Es un horno,” he repeated (a lot).

Ella was fast asleep.

Context: This child gets cranky real quick and real permanent. But that whole weekend, she was quite content in Uncle Erich’s arms, listening to his broken Spanish and enjoying the great outdoors.

Fingers crossed that same magic works with all future children.

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5 thoughts on “Future Daddy

  1. Abigail

    This is incredibly cute! Thanks for sharing. I’m sure you and Erich will both be lovely parents. Plus, Stegersauruses is the most adorable family nickname possible. =D

    Also, take that, all the commenters on your teenage blog who thought that helping care for younger siblings in your big family would guarantee you’d never want to have kids and would hate big families… I’m glad that despite your distress and movement away from many of the values and ideas you once held as absolute, you still appreciate many aspects of your upbringing and want to see them in your own family someday.

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    • Bailey Steger

      Aw, thanks! And yeah, it’s funny to me, because a family with five or six kids doesn’t sound like a “big family” to me! But maybe I’ll change my mind after I start having kids. ;) I truly and naturally love the idea of lots of kids, a season of life devoted to mothering, and homeschooling. Those, to me, are not anti-feminist or “fundamentalist” ideas — just beautiful things that I really want to do.

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  2. villemezbrown

    LOL – I read your headline and thought you were announcing you were pregnant! I was already composing my congratulations, that’s so exciting comment. :-) As the mother of an only child I can’t really imagine having five or six kids, but I do firmly believe that becoming a mother is one of, if not the, most amazing, miraculous, magical things you will ever do. It will transform you in ways you cannot imagine. It is good that you and Erich are basically on the same page (or getting there) when it comes to parenting.

    Adele

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    • Bailey Steger

      Oh no!!! Just so you know, I’ll be *far* subtler about any future pregnancy announcements. ;) (Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just be screaming from the rooftops that I’m going to be a mommy.) I definitely agree that motherhood is amazing, miraculous, and magical, but I have yet to be convinced that *pregnancy* will be anything close to those adjectives. ;)

      Like

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