Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monkeys Have All the Luck

One night after the kids were in bed, Bryan and I were actually sharing space in the same room.

But wait...that's not the actual story. Just thought I'd point it out because it's a rare occurrence.

The news was blaring on the television, but both of us were stuck with our noses in separate technological devices (A problem that should be addressed in a later post. . .). Something in an online article caught my attention, so I read the entire story about a man who recounted the story of an orange baby monkey who had been born at a zoo recently. A Francois Langur monkey, he announced proudly, as if he had given birth to the monkey himself.

I know, I know...monkeys are born every day, but wait, it gets better. Trust me.

The man continued with the story, discussing how the other female monkeys will take the baby from the mother so the mother can have a break.

Bryan cackled under his breath as I screamed, "WTH! Where the heck is MY monkey? I need one of those to come here and give ME a break!!" (I'd have to elaborate for him later.)

Yes, people....apparently, in the world of the Francois Langur monkey there is a thing called "aunting", where when a female gives birth to a baby, all the other females in the group who are not yet mothers, will come take care of the baby so the mother can rest.

As I watched the video of these amazing monkeys, I sat there in disbelief.

One of the "aunt" monkeys had to literally pry the baby monkey away from its mother in order to force her to take a well-deserved break. All the other childless monkeys gathered around the aunt to help her care for the baby while the mother rested in a nearby tree.

Color me disillusioned but I don't remember any childless friends knocking down my front door, demanding that I hand over my newborn son so I could rest my weary body, after having been doped up with an epidural and gutted like a fish.

Nor were there any well-meaning family members forcing me to temporarily discontinue the endless routine of mixing formula, measuring breast milk, cleaning bottles and changing diapers to give me a much needed mini-siesta. (After the first two weeks, that is. I must do a shout-out to my mother and mother-in-law. They would have LIVED with us if allowed when both boys were born.)

Oh, but the unsolicited advice and harsh judgments (along with a huge side dish of guilt) came aplenty. Of course.

"Don't wake the babies up to feed them. That's so cruel," they would argue.

"Why are you supplementing with formula? Have you tried everything possible to make more breast milk?" Other experienced mom-friends would accuse.

"I can't believe you let that baby sleep in his car seat!" they would scrutinize.

The way I see it, those people who claim that monkeys are smarter than human beings may be onto something. Lord knows, they certainly appear to be more thoughtful than we tend to be with one another.

Instead of giving away free cars, I believe Oprah should've been giving away monkeys.

"To every exhausted, overwhelmed mother in this audience today, you get a monkey! You get a monkey! And you get a monkey! Everybody. Gets. A. Monkey!"

Sure, I may be coming off as a little bitter...and, yeah, I'm still seething with envy.

Those darn Francois Langur monkeys have all the luck.

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