You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

It is with no lack of modesty that I tell you I was a pretty gorgeous baby. I would say, objectively, I was not merely cute-as-a-button I may have made the leap beyond-buttondom.

I had a full head of hair, cheeks like apples and a winning way with a wet nurse.

I was a damn cute kid too, right up until puberty and then I don’t know what happened. The wheels fell off with the hormones.

At my most adorable

At my most adorable

I’m on this topic because friends of ours (as I’m sure friends of yours) have just brought their first child into the world and, though I have been sent some photos, I have yet to meet the little bright-eyed pride and joy face to face. That can be an awkward moment as chronicled in a famous Seinfeld episode where the best that Jerry and the gang can muster crib side is an exclamation of ‘breathtaking‘.

The truth is that, though they are undoubtedly precious miracles and gifts from God (and whatever other warm and fuzzy you’d care to throw in here), not all babies are going to make the label on the Gerber jar. Some are squished. Some are pointy. Some are red and rashy. If you are introduced to a baby like this by the proud parents it may require every thespian fiber in your being not to visibly, well, wince.

Babies are always gushingly described as having signature parental traits. ‘Oh, she’s got her mother’s eyes’.’ He’s got his father’s chin’. This is really just an effort to personalize a creature that, let’s be honest, can more closely resemble a Tribble than a tot.

There is a theory that ugly babies live to be good looking adults. I guess they have no where to go but up.

Conversely, I’ve also heard that adorable infants, unfortunately, may have peaked at the moment of birth. As human beings their appearance simply erodes over time until they find themselves either in a carnival tent or a television reality series.

I have always had a tough time getting gushy about other people’s children. I know, I know. This does not make me very popular but neither does it necessarily make me a bad guy. When I worked in a television newsroom colleagues seemed to be constantly trotting their newborn bundles through the door and I always stayed at my desk. Every woman in the room felt compelled to make a rugby rush for the child. There was a tsunami of estrogen. But I stayed seated because I knew that if I walked up there and was greeted with a somewhat less than eye-pleasing visage, I might not be able to muster up the obligatory ‘ooh’ or ‘ahh’.

I might more likely go ‘Yeesh!’

‘Yeesh’ , will definitely not get you invited to the christening.


4 Responses to “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby”

  1. david kincaid Says:

    Dave O
    That one made me laugh out loud. I remember those “rugby rushes” well.
    It must have something to do with beauty being in the eyes of the beholder.
    My father, GRHS, was fond of telling his friends that not only was I unintential but upon arrival I looked like a suet pudding, “pasty white and spotty.”

  2. Sharon Lightstone Says:

    Loving your blog, Dave. I’m going to read it every time I need a lift and maybe I’ll even read it when I’m alrady feeling pretty good! I think you must be the master of one liners. Thank you!

  3. Jocelyn Laidlaw Says:

    Hey Grumpy,
    I believe I am said friend referenced in the blog who recently had one of those “adorable miracles”. Not to worry Dave, when you meet the golden child in a few weeks, I won’t hold my breath for any gushing, oohing, or ahhing. I, too, remember the rugby rushes of the old newsroom. Despite being part of “that club”, I never rushed either. Babies terrified me!
    While I am certain my young prince really is the best lookin’ kid on the planet…I don’t expect anyone else to think so.
    By the way…that picture of you is off-the-charts cute! You were a picture perfect child. What the hell happened??

    • Ah, Jocelyn…nothing warms the cockles more than good friends trading shots across the bow.
      So we’re even.
      I look forward to greeting the child. Shall I bring gold, frankincense or myrrh?

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