It's called baby fever and you may be familiar with it.
The symptoms occur once your youngest or only child finishes breastfeeding, takes his first steps, or enters kindergarten. Timing varies from person to person, but the symptoms are the same: The longing and yearning and insatiable hunger for a 7- to 8-pound bundle of joy.
Until there is a cure for it, I've created this list for myself and for those of you that might be suffering along with me. It's not as rosy and romantic as we might be remembering ...
1. The cost. Remember diapers? Newborn diapers? The diapers you actually have to change constantly so pee doesn't leak out everywhere? Not like toddler diapers, which you don't need to change until they hang to their knees.
2. The well visits. I love that, if the kids are healthy, we can get away with going to the pediatrician once a year for check-ups. Those weekly/monthly visits to germ-infested waiting rooms are no fun at all.
3. Backward-facing car seats. Remember those? How annoying it is to not be able to look back and see your baby? To have to feel around for the pacifier opening? To not have eye contact with the creature you are belting "Free to be you and me" out to? It's really annoying.
4. Car seats, at all. And let's not forget how much those things weigh. My shoulders ache just thinking about it.
5. The crib sheets. The only thing worse than crib sheets are bunk bed sheets. Don't say I didn't warn you.
6. Baby weight. Enough said.
7. Diaper bags. Those days of having to schlep around diapers and wipes and diaper rash cream and bottles and formula and changes of clothes really put a damper on my cute summer bag collection.
8. The umbilical cord. Ewwwwww.
9. Not being able to communicate. Sure, there are days I wish my children would just shut the hell up already, but it's so nice and easy knowing exactly what they want. Newborns are impossible like that.
10. Nipple leaks. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world to hear a baby cry and not have to worry about suddenly sporting wet spots in public.
Did you have the fever, too? Have I cured you?
Image via nationalarchives/Flickr