For my wife, this feeling of a tiny person hoofing her is becoming commonplace. But I have been waiting anxiously for Baby to grow big enough and get strong enough to be able to send me a message personally. Now, if Baby is feeling cooperative, I can feel little bumps from her against my hand.
I will not dwell too heavily on the emotional impact that this has on me; if you have read anything on this site then you know that I am a blubbering mess at the best of times. Feeling my daughter kicking me from inside her mother has a predictably profound effect on my emotional state.
It does demonstrate the absolute strangeness of making a child, though. I can’t help feeling that the whole process makes us the laughingstock of the rest of the natural world. It takes over 9 months just to get our offspring ready to even exist in the open air. A goat can make a kid in 150 days. A wolf can make a pup in 64. And neither of those babies are as pathetically dependent as a human baby.
Can you imagine if interspecies mommy groups existed?
Mrs. Horse is sitting with Mrs. Rabbit.
“So how long did it take for your little Trixie to learn to walk?” Mrs. Rabbit asks, nibbling on a watercress sandwich.
“Oh, she was a bit slower than Max,” Mrs. Horse replies, blowing on her tea. “She was a good two, maybe three hours before she could get up on her own, and she only started running around hour ten.”
“Oh my! Hour ten? Have you taken her to see a specialist?”
They both look over at Mrs. Human, sitting next to the Mrs. Baboon. They look at the squirming little pink human baby, and they shake their heads.
“It seems to me,” Mrs. Horse says under her breath, “that perhaps the human baby is… slightly underdone.”
“Oh no!” Mrs. Rabbit declares. “Did you know that she was pregnant for 266 days?”
“Really? You don’t say…”
Of course, these are ways that we could simplify and accelerate the process of reproduction. Why haven’t we tried asexual division? You would tense up every muscle in your body and squeeze until you split in half, one right and one left. There would be an awkward stage while your two halves waited for their other sides to grow in, but at least they could hobble around on one fully functional leg in the meantime.