Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ugly Baby Etiquette


Is there such a thing as "ugly baby etiquette"?

Everybody thinks their infants are adorable, as they should. But what happens when they subject you to their child excitedly, with that look of anticipation, waiting on your response? What's the appropriate reaction?

"Wow, that's aaaaa, very interesting little guy you got there..."

"Look at that. She looks just like her father."

Case in point; I have a friend who recently gave birth to a baby girl (who shall remain nameless, the baby I mean, on the grounds that I might incriminate myself). First of all, a baby's not a new television set or fresh pair of limited edition Air Jordans. Frankly put, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. That is unless said baby has a horn or three nostrils. For the most part, they're all flesh colored noise makers.

Now, she posed the question (obviously not a rhetorical one), "Do you want to see the baby?".

If you know me, then you know what my initial thought was.

No, not really.

But, in an attempt to be a more civilized person, I nodded & reluctantly said "sure".

Before I could gander at (sigh...) yet another child, she told me it's name. At the risk of sounding like a jerk, why is it that black women make up these names as if there's a race to see who's can be the most ridiculous? I get the whole "unique" name thing, but let's come back to Earth. If it sounds like a disease, a make-believe foreign country or a precious stone, stay away from it. If you've never heard any name remotely close to it, ever, there's probably good reason for that.

So, I looked at the baby, forcing a grin all the while, & she looked back at me. I couldn't tell if I reminded her of a chew toy, or if she was crapping herself. Whatever the case, she reached for an ear, & I immediately got the hell out of dodge.

Not because it wasn't cute.......but because I don't like people touching my ears. Especially germ conduits &/or saliva fountains. & I'm afraid of Space Monkeys.

I'll be the first to admit that all three of my kids came into this world as goons. A cone dome, a pie face & an apple head; not necessarily in that order. Of course, they eventually grew to resemble normal people, but the wait bordered on excruciating. People would say to me, "aww, they're are sooo ca-yoot!". Imagine their horror when I shot back at them, "yeah, right." Or the ever-popular "God doesn't like liars".

I think that there's no better way to be humbled than to have an ugmo kid. It's the "moment of clarity" from hell.

So, as I made small talk with my friend, & she repeatedly try to swing the convo back toward her baby, I couldn't help but wonder; "Should I tell her?"

Nah, I'll let her baby daddy do it.


Princess Jasmine said...

Yikes. THis totally reminds of the Seinfeld episode about the friend with the ugly baby.

I learned from a good friend of mine's mom. When you see an ugly baby the new parents are sooo excited and really just want to hear something. Now since we know God doesnt like liars instead of saying the baby is cute you can say what a healthy baby or compliment how well the mother has dressed the child or say, I know your daddy just gobbles you up.

I truly believe babies have to look like either one parent or a fair mixture of both so with that being said one or both parents would have to confess their own ugliness reflected in child. Most ugly people do not think they are ugly so they therefore would not think their chils was ugly either. Either way, it's not the poor kids fault. And I agree, new babies are morbitly gross. I deliberately didnt pay for hospital pictures because I didnt want the cone head crooked face 1-3 day old memories of my son. We all go through it, some of us are just more honest than others.

Anonymous said...