4.09.2012

So your baby ain't cute yet...now what?

Luckily for him, my kid is f.u.c.k.'N adorable in this pic, so I don't have this problem...but I thought plenty about it beforehand.


*fittedwearer's note: Thanks and a big shoutout to Debbie for the idea...you're absolutely right, this is long overdue.

So there you are, a rookie parent standing there admiring your bundle of joy when a 3-ton realization suddenly hits you in the gut like one last labor pain: Your baby isn't all that cute at all, is it?

Of course, most people would never acknowledge that they had this revelation to themselves and especially not to anyone else, but for every real life baby gremlin, there's a parent who stays awake at night peering into a crib wondering when their baby will cuten up. We're all taught that all humans under a certain age are equally adorable, but anyone who has seen more than 10 babies knows, that's a fully loaded diaper.

The reasons for delayed cuteness in infants are many and varied. It could be caused by a lack of...shall we say, the appropriate building materials. (Then again, you knew what you and your creation partner looked like beforehand...if those odds are against you tightly enough, they may smash your baby's face a little.) Maybe you're both pretty attractive, but just got the wrong blend of ingredients, like drizzling fine chocolate over an expensive steak. Maybe it's just in that awkward stage between freshly birthed naked mole rat and fully formed infant (saw that firsthand).

In any event, your baby is not cute yet...what a ripoff, right? I mean, that's the one thing they're absolutely supposed to do, according to everyone but me. Don't panic...it might not be permanent. Babies change a lot in the 2 years they spend as little monkeys before hopefully evolving into actual tiny humans...they get many upgrades, like motor skills and the ability to speak on what they want instead of shrieking for it...and maybe, just maybe, some cuteness.

However, it's a long time between here and there, and I imagine it ain't easy...here's something to help things look better when your baby refuses to. Here it is...umf presents "So your baby ain't cute yet...now what?"

1) Dress them in the cutest clothes imaginable. Give people who know the social obligation to compliment something about a new baby something to work with. Maybe your kid looks like something you found in a Cabbage Patch, but that doesn't mean that hat it's wearing isn't just the cutest little thing. Many baby clothes are specifically designed with cuteness in mind...hey, if they're dishing "so cute"s in the baby's direction, that's close enough, ain't it?

2) Wrap them up from head to toe. For best results, all babies need to be kept constantly warm and yours needs to be constantly concealed. This covers both. The total hiding of a physical form has likely worked wonders for unattractive Muslim women for thousands of years...it can work for your baby as well.

3) Don't ask, don't tell. People are usually pretty willing to let your fugly little rugrat pass without negative comment, for fear that appearing to insult others where it relates to their children will affect their own somehow. They'll hold it for a second, fake a smile or 2, then give it back. Leave it at that.

Asking something like "isn't he/she just precious?" is a setup that might lead to a Lord of the Rings joke with a sufficiently tactless person. Never overestimate someone's ability to lie politely...if there's a chance you won't like the honest answer, don't ask the question.

4) Keep it to yourself for a month or 2. As mentioned before, pretty much every kid comes out looking very little like our species. This fades faster for some babies than others, and just may take a little longer for yours.

As a result, you should probably keep baby around people you know will say nice, untruthful things, like family and close friends until that happens...or at least until it learns a couple cute actions like sucking on its toes. That way, only one person at a time has to put their foot in their mouth...all babies look cute doing things like that.

5) Realize, it's not the end of the world. It probably won't even last long. The majority of babies eventually do aquire some cuteness in lighting besides that in which their parents see them. However, as you well know, (or maybe don't, in which case you might just find something out about yourself) many is the baby who stays not cute yet until they become an adult who isn't cute yet.

It's not the worst thing ever. Looks aren't everything, just a whole lot. Plenty of people were born with noncuteness and other handicaps and made nice little lives for themselves regardless. (These people usually have to go out of their way to develop awesome personalities...never too early to get that ball rolling.) Still, if your baby gets to about a year old without growing any cuter, you might have to accept that it's just not going to happen. Try to love your baby just as much as you would otherwise...maybe even a little more, they'll need it.

Hopefully you enjoyed this look at your baby and its cuteness development...very few other people do. For umf, this is AJ...thank you, and good...luck.



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