I’ve never been baby-crazy. Out of all my friends, siblings, etc, I am the least likely to like a baby. Honestly.
I have never been able to muster up any sort of maternal feeling simply by looking at a cute baby. I am not the type to coo over chubby cheeks and a pair dimpled arms. I have never liked holding babies, even the ones that I am related to. I cannot understand the big deal about such a tiny being, a baby is a baby only for so long, eventually it too will be like us soon. You dont go around ga-ga-goo-goo-ing people you see on the street, do you? Aren’t they too just bigger versions of the babies you so love to love?
I sound quite horrible, I know. My aversion to babies neer fails to surprise any of my friends. Yet, I am used to it, I have accepted the fact that I am just not the sort of person that will double over with excitement and drop to my knees and start babbling in baby talk at the sight of a baby. So when my brother and his wife had a baby daughter, I felt a bit uneasy. Of course, I would be expected to react accordingly: gushing over her cuteness, praising her childish alertness and marveling at her roly-poly baby body. The thought of it made me quite nervous, I was not sure how I’d feel about her at all. Sure, I went shopping for her, bought lots of teeny tiny shoes and accessories so pink that even cotton candy would be ashamed, but that was all irrelevant. The real question that afflicted me was: would I like her, or rather, would she like ME??
It came as a surpise, not just to me, but also to my family. My baby niece has eyes only for me. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that her clever brain registers me as the one who will for sure pick her up and rock her whenever she scrunches up her face, on the verge of tears, but the fact remains that she does, indeed, like me. It’s such a weird feeling, one that I hadn’t thought I would experience before I had my own kids. Being liked by a teeny, tiny life, being wanted by it, and wanting it, liking it, loving it back just as much. I could spend hours just looking at her, in awe of how she, being not yet 2 months old, is capable of making me feel SO much. It has not even been 10 days since I arrived, and already, I am wondering how I’ll feel when it’s time for me to go back and not spend all day taking care of her, rocking her, playing with her.
It may sound like I’ve experienced some sort of ground-shaking epiphany, and this experience has changed my perception of babies forever. Fortunately, not, though. I still cannot make funny noises or faces at her, nor do I want to (I think babies are alot smarter than we think, they see us distorting our faces and hear us changing voices and saying strange things and probably wonder, ‘What the fcuk? Where do you think I’m from, Kalamazoo?’) And I still cannot, and will not, clean her poo.
I still generally don’t like babies, I just like this baby.