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4 Things I Miss Most About My Pre-Baby Life

One balmy evening last week, I held my tiny daughter and watched from the back porch steps as my husband sat in the grass barefoot, wielding a stick and muttering frustratedly. I sighed and murmured dreamily, “You have the best life, Ryan.”

“Lauren what are you even talking about right now?” He shot back. “I’ve just gotten home from a horribly long day at work and I’m sitting in the backyard scraping gum off my shoe with a stick. And the grass is wet.”

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“I know,” I answered. “I’m envious.” This garnered me a scathing look and an under-the-breath retort that I couldn’t quite make out, but it most assuredly contained the word “loon.” The truth is that I wasn’t being facetious or pandering. In that moment, I absolutely meant what I said — I was a teensy bit envious of my husband’s life.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my own life. I love it like crazy. I mean, I get to do the very thing that I dreamt about doing every day for six years while I sat in my tiny accountant cubicle muttering about depreciation and slowly going mad. I would not trade staying home with my daughter for anything in the world. There are some evenings though, when my husband comes traipsing in the door fresh from the train and wafting a whisper of city hustle and bustle behind him, that I close my eyes and breathe it in and get a little nostalgic.

Though exactly what things I sometimes miss about the days of yore is not what you would expect. They would certainly surprise five-years-ago me. I’m completely fine, for example, with my new early bedtime. In fact, I’m enamored of it. And I relish going to the park instead of the bar at 5 o’clock. A gummy squeal from a swinging baby beats a gin and tonic any day. But oh man, what I would not give for a good long construction-riddled commute and a bag of broccoli to eat along the way.

I used to try to avoid most office gossip, but these days? I could really use someone to talk to about the new season of "Bachelor in Paradise."

I guess I should explain. So here is an incomplete list of the things for which I sometimes pine.

1. A commute. My husband spends one hour twice a day on a train that chugs along through never-ending track construction and tunnels with absolutely zero internet service. That lucky duck. I can not even imagine having two whole hours a day where I am forced to do nothing but take my pen to the daily crossword puzzle or contemplate serious things like current events and politics. (Stop looking over my shoulder and guffawing RYAN, I know politics.)

2. Vegetables! I’m still breastfeeding and it turns out that many vegetables, both cruciferous and other, irritate my daughter’s tiny digestive system. So I don’t eat them. At first I was like, “That’s fine because this frees up a lot of stomach room for cupcakes and pancake batter.” But now I swear I would climb Mt. Everest if there was a type of broccoli growing on its peak that was OK for me to eat. I eat healthy otherwise and take vitamins to fill in the nutrient gaps, but I have literally had dreams (that’s dreams – with an "S") about eating a head of cabbage like a giant apple.

3. Sick Days. I don’t miss getting sick, I still do that. I did that splendidly a couple of weeks ago, in fact. (I’m pretty sure I had yellow fever.) But whereas in the past I could call the office and inform them I was much too wretched to work and then spend my day languishing in bed reading, sleeping and researching what diseases I had most likely contracted, now nothing changes. There’s still a baby to be fed and changed and entertained, sniffly nose or no.

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4. Water Cooler Conversations. I used to try to avoid most office gossip, but these days? I could really use someone to talk to about the new season of "Bachelor in Paradise." I could use any sort of grown-up interaction really ... with someone other than my husband, who is completely delightful and who I love dearly, but who does not have the same taste in quality television as me. Plus he’s always saying things like, “No I will not ask the guy at Subway to wrap your lettuce wrap in cheese instead of lettuce.” And, “If you know so much about politics then why did you think that POTUS was the last name of the president in the movie we watched last night?”

This entire pathetic list is just to say that, sure, there are things I remember fondly about my pre-baby days. But you know what those days did not have? A baby. A slimy, giggling, middle-of-the-night baby. And for that, I’d give up just about everything.

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