Things I don’t get about babies.
OK, we’re doing this. We’re talking about babies. I’ll have you know that I am shaking like an electric toothbrush and a magnetic force seems to be pulling me away from the keyboard.
Re: babies, I feel like I sit somewhere in the middle of the fence, and by ‘somewhere in the middle’, I mean somewhere in outer space past Jupiter and into the next galaxy. I would like to make it clear that I think babies are wonderful. They are so important, because they are little versions of us and without them, we grown-ups wouldn’t exist. I think babies are fantastic, and that sometimes they can be almost as cute as puppies. It’s not that I dislike babies in ANY way. No, no, no. I would like to offset that any such misconception entirely. I love babies, my favorite kind being puppies, like I said, and any other furry variety.
It’s just that I’m straight up terrified of them. Usually when you’re afraid of something, it’s because you don’t understand it. There are quite a few things re: baby humans that I can’t quite get my head around, so I thought that perhaps sharing them with the internet might help nut them out.
1. Fetus profile pics.
I understand and accept that it must be the ultimate thrill to have a baby growing in your body. More so than I’m even qualified to imagine, on account of the fact that I’ve never personally done it. Seeing images from your ultrasound must be even more exciting than seeing that photo of yourself they take of you in the middle of a rollercoaster ride. You know, with your cheeks all billowed out and your eyeballs hanging by a thread. The thing is – and maybe it’s just me – I kind of feel like a baby fetus in a womb is maybe not the best choice for a Facebook profile pic. Am I missing something really important here? Every time I see one I get even more terrified of the little things. I’m not denying the inherent beauty of an ultrasound. I’m just saying – maybe revert back the pic of you smooching your Pomeranian?
2. They seem breakable but they are weirdly not.
When you take muffins out of the oven, you have to be super careful because they can crumble and fall apart if you don’t let them cool first. Why isn’t it the same thing with babies? Proportionately speaking, muffins and babies have similar gestation periods: 30 minutes versus nine months to cook, then one week versus 80-odd years before they hit their used-by date. Babies are so much like muffins, and as such, I am petrified of breaking them. Their skin looks like tissue paper that was never intended to be an outer garment. Their little bones are surely no stronger than pretzels, and they don’t land on their feet like cats do. Then there’s that whole thing about their heads being too heavy for their little neck muscles to properly support. Do babies even have muscles? Babies are like living, breathing eggshells waiting to be smooshed, yet somehow they’re apparently not. It seems that of the number of babies floating around the world, a rather large percentage of them manage to withstand babyhood without breaking. Like muffins, I prefer to wait until babies are fully cooled and solidified before I enter their personal space, which is generally about three years after they come out of the oven. Womb. Thingo.
3. When people let other people hold their babies.
This goes back to the muffin thing. Firstly, a lot of people love babies and muffins, so there’s no promise you’ll get your baby back if you hand it to someone. Secondly, they might drop it. I have never understood a parent’s ability to smile and show no sign of a nervous breakdown as they hand their baby over to some else to “hold”. The reason I feel this way is because if someone tries to give me their baby to hold, I freeze, and cease to function like a normal human. I get SO freakin’ nervous, and it’s not because I don’t trust myself to not give it back, which would be the case which an actual muffin. It’s because I don’t trust myself to not accidentally break it, and if I broke someone else’s baby, I’m pretty sure there would be an apocalypse. If you drop one, you’re not only ruining the baby’s life, but the lives of everyone that ever knew it. I once tried waitressing for half an hour and failed miserably, which is enough of a sign for me that carrying fragile things is not my forte. I already know that if/when I have my own human baby, nobody is getting to hold it. If/when I evolve and stumble upon the reproductive instinct, I assume that a superhero-esque ability to hold my ownbaby will follow, and nobody else – repeat, nobody else – will be touching it.
As part of my phobia of fucking up a baby’s life and consequentially the lives of its parents, I find myself unable to make a call on the gender of a baby and commit to it. I am terrified of incorrectly gender-guessing someone’s pride and joy, and I’m sorry to say but that’s because it’s legitimately hard to tell. Babies look like babies. When they’re fresh out of the baby oven, they’re not supposed to have super defined features yet, right? So, whilst I understand it’s messed up to refer to a baby I’ve just met as “it”, I’d much rather do that than offend you by implying that your gorgeous little Sophia looks like a Dave.
Apocalypse. Yep. That’s what would happen if I accidentally killed or offended someone else’s baby, I am sure of it. I’m starting to think this is a legit phobia, and maybe if I could just understand the above, it’d subside and babies would seem just as awesome as puppies? I met a girl in the Bolivian jungle with a crippling snake phobia, and all she had to do was touch the snake and learn to understand it, and – BAM! – her fear was gone. I was also super scared of spinach as a kid. Now, I eat spinach all the time because I understand that it’s good for me! I have to put lots of cheese on it, though. Does that count?
Originally published on…