Maybe I better say this quietly…
I don’t like babies much.
There I said it.
I don’t like babies much.
Now I liked my own babies well enough. It wasn’t my favorite age, but they were mine and I loved them as my children. And I’m sure that nature kicked in at some point, releasing some chemical that made me fall in love with this child when it wasn’t much more than a poop and vomit factory. But out of all the ages they’ve been thus far, babyhood was my least favorite. Not because of the work or worry involved. Every age has its version of those.
But babies are more like…(I just know this is going to go too far for some people…)…larvae. They’re mostly hairless and they just kind of squirm around for a long time.
Then there is the whole issue of parental expectations. When you hold other people’s babies, you’re supposed to come up with what is remarkable about it. But it’s a baby. It’s either fussy or sleepy or hungry or dirty. That’s the full range of baby talents. Yet somehow I’m supposed to interpret drooling as evidence of superior intelligence or gas attacks as heralding exceptional prowess on the football field.
I also worry the kid is going start screaming immediately upon entering my arms. It hasn’t happened yet, but I don’t know if I could take being rejected by someone whose intelligence is slightly above tree moss.
This is one of myriad reasons I hate baby showers. Mothers love to bring their existing babies to parties about future babies. But when they do, they expect everyone else to hold their progeny, I guess to get in the spirit of things. And once again, if you’ve already got a few at home, it is assumed you want to relive that wonderful time of carrying around a sack of potatoes. (I say that honestly. When the Heirs were babies, I found myself standing in the checkout line rocking on my hip the bag of potatoes I was buying and mindlessly humming “Wynken, Blynken and Nod.” See? I wasn’t a horrid mother.)
I’ve tried, really I have. It’s kind of embarrassing when a new mother wants to play Pass the Baby and you are contestant No. 1 because, well, you’ve had a few, so you must love them, right? And you can’t refuse without insulting her. Sometimes, if I know a new mother and baby are going to be in the same room as me, I immediately begin sniffling and coughing so I can claim I’m “coming down with something.”
If I’m lucky, there are enough grandmothers there to take up all the baby-holding time. I’m in hopes that some chemical secreted during menopause causes you to suddenly squeal “Ooooooo!” whenever you smell baby powder. Otherwise I’m afraid I’m going to traumatize my grandchildren (which I am in no hurry to have. Get that, Heirs?).
Otherwise, I’ll just have to tell my sons, “Please take your little pupa and come back in a year or so when it’s mobile and communicative.”I will now go hide under the bed while things are thrown at me.