Press-Republican

May 20, 2012

No, your baby is not adorable

STEVE OUELLETTE, You Had to Ask
Press-Republican

---- — In good conscience, I can no longer do this.

For years, I've played along like everyone else. I've smiled broadly and lied through my teeth. I've subjugated my true feelings and said what was expected of me. But no longer.

No ma'am, I do not think your baby is adorable.

It's chubby, hairless, wrinkled, toothless. It smells funny, and terrible stuff flows from nearly every orifice. That does not qualify as "cute," no matter what kind of stylish onesie you dress it up in. Frankly, it doesn't look human, and it scares me more than just a little bit.

There. I've said it.

I acknowledge that babies are vital for the preservation of our species, but let's be honest here. Physically, they're hideous-looking creatures. Yes, lady, yours in particular.

If you want an example of adorable, look at kittens. Diabolically cute, even right after birth. Or how about puppies? A puppy of almost any breed can make me giggle like a schoolgirl with its unfettered adorableness.

It's not your fault. It's not anyone's fault. No human can compete. Scarlett Johansson was an ugly baby. She got better. Brad Pitt was hideous. He turned out OK.

I had two infants of my own, and frankly I couldn't stand to look at either one of them for the first year or so. I've seen my own baby pictures, and I'm a little surprised my parents didn't just leave me to the wolves.

I'm not saying that we should abandon our babies. They should be given all the love and care that we can possibly muster. It wouldn't hurt, though, to keep them inside for a few months, until they start to look human. Maybe put that camera down, too, and not take so many pictures?

Am I the only one who feels like this? I see the rest of you, and whenever someone pulls up a stroller with drooling, gurgling human spawn in it, you all begin to "ooooo" and "ahhhhhh" as if the infant was some sort of tiny fireworks display.

Meanwhile, all I can think is "I hope it doesn't touch me."

Do you honestly find the baby adorable? Is this a genetic self-defense mechanism bred into us to make sure that we care for the tiny beings? If so, it missed me.

Is it simply that other adults fear that their own future infants will be deemed grotesque by onlookers, thus they form an unspoken agreement — we'll fawn over yours if you fawn over ours?

Is this an emperor-has-no-clothes situation, where no one is brave enough to admit that the baby has no redeeming physical characteristics? Joyce thinks the baby is beautiful, and Fred thinks the baby is beautiful … If I don't think the baby is beautiful, then I must be crazy. Must not let them see the crazy.

Now that I have taken that first step, perhaps now everyone will feel free to admit, "Man, I thought it was some kind of alien. It makes my eyes burn." It's not crazy.

If it is just me, I've now guaranteed that mothers everywhere will pelt me with Similac and Pampers wherever I go. I've probably also ensured that friends with children will never invite us over again.

Well, at least I won't have to see their frightful babies again.

While I'm on the topic, is now a good time to mention that, no, I don't think pregnant women "glow"? Also, yes, I think those pants do make you look fat ...

Email Steve Ouellette:

ouellette1918@gmail.com