I imagine having a child is a hopeful experience. Hopeful that they’ll grow up to make you proud. Hopeful that they’ll live a fulfilling existence. Hopeful that you can make them as happy as they make you. But I also imagine it’s a terrifyingly frightful experience as well. One of uncertainty, guessing, and nervousness that everything is going to be okay. Rarely does one feel prepared to have a child, a place where I currently am finding myself. To be fair, I’m not a baby person. I’m scared I’m going to drop the or crush their not-yet-formed skull or make them cry which will, in turn, give me a splitting headache.
Newborns are greeted into this world with a soft blanket and a smile from their parents. One by one, they’re introduced to their family and friends only to be told how beautiful they are. They’re considered to be a shining beacon of light in an otherwise bleak world. But for the sake of being completely honest, some babies are just really fucking ugly and I don’t think that’s something I should be ashamed to express.
I’ve been in this world for thirty years. I’ve seen friends, colleagues, family members, and strangers alike all carting their infant children around in their Babybjörns receiving compliments as if they’re toting around a puppy. But unlike how every single puppy is the cutest thing in the entire world, babies… babies just aren’t, and I don’t think I should be considered an asshole because I don’t think your kid is all that fucking cute.
Be straight with me — you can’t tell me that when that thing made its first appearance in the world, your initial reaction wasn’t, “…oh.” You know it too, but it’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that the product of your reproduction looks like Verne Troyer.
Let’s just call a spade a spade here — your child looks like the spawn of one of the aliens in Men In Black. It’s not one of those cute smiling babies that’s dressed as a pumpkin in an Anne Geddes photo. It’s not a future child model for a small-town adolescent clothing store. It’s the raisin version of what a cute baby could look like. Now, this isn’t necessarily a reflection on you as parents (well, I mean, maybe it is but). Sometimes you get a bunch of bananas that have one covered in bruises. Every flock has an ugly duckling. Every bag of french fries has the overcooked, shriveled one in the bottom that you set aside and only eat only if you’re really hungry. Babies are no different.
But please, allow me to express that I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. Not every swing yields a home run, so it’s not something to beat yourself up over. Not everything in this world can be beautiful, and there are a myriad of success stories where kids going through awkward stages turned into beautiful adults. Are those few and far between? Maybe, yeah, so I wouldn’t bet the house on your child walking any runways in Milan eighteen years from now. But what if? What if your ugly offspring turns into a Taylor Swift or a Michael Jordan? Sure, it won’t happen. But what if, you know?
Don’t be upset with me for being honest. Instead, embrace your situation and nurture your child with the love it deserves. Much like a withering plant, water your child with love and allow it to grow into its own skin. Spoil it with the gifts you’d offer to any normal, not-ugly child. Include it in your Christmas card photos and throw it the first birthday party it deserves.
But just please keep it away from me, because it’s creeping me out. .
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