My family and close friends know that I am really not a “baby/kid-friendly person”. Some people, like my best friend V and my middle sister R are just naturally comfortable around small human beings. Their eyes light up with delight at the sight of pudgy thighs and chubby cheeks, where as I, on the other hand, tend to run the other direction. I just don’t really find most babies that cute, and I don’t really understand people who squeal at the chance to cuddle a newborn.
However, something inside me changed when my daughter was born. I was utterly infatuated with love at the first moment. Even in those delirious sleep-deprived days, I just wanted to stay awake staring at her, marveling at her perfect little nose, her amazing dimples, her little toes, etc, etc. I would say that I was so extreme in my new-mommy-blind love for her, that in my world, there really could be nothing more beautiful than my baby girl. There was even one time when I was walking back to my office after running some errands, in a dreamy daze thinking about how I only had a couple more hours of work before I could go home and play with the cutest baby in the world, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman pushing a stroller with an adorable little girl sitting inside. I remember thinking, “That baby is pretty cute! In fact, I would say that she is almost just as cute as…WAIT, that is my daughter!!!” It turned out that our nanny had taken our daughter out for a walk near my office, oops.
So, fast forward a couple of years to when my son was born. When the nurses placed him on my chest…well…I guess, I have a confession to make, I didn’t have the same overwhelming sense of “I’m gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever” (anyone recognize that quote?). In fact, I’ll just say it…I actually thought to myself, “Hmm. He’s kinda funny looking. Sort of looks like a wrinkly old man. ”
I feel really bad about it, but in those first few weeks, family and friends would ooh and ahh over our newborn son, while I would secretly think to myself, “Really? you really think he’s cute? or you’re just being polite?” It’s not that I didn’t love my son. Of course I love him just as much, but I just really didn’t think he was very attractive.
Slowly the neonatal jaundice and baby acne resolved, the crusty cradle cap finally got shampooed away, and the rest of his face caught up proportionally to his big nose. One day, when he was about 4 months old, I was giving him a kiss and all of a sudden I found myself saying, “Hey, he is pretty darn cute.”
Now my son is almost 15-months old and I’ve become one of those annoying moms who can’t stop talking about how absolutely brilliant and funny and handsome my child is. My husband constantly makes fun of me for being too easy on our son when he misbehaves because all he has to do is give me one of those killer mischievous grins and my heart melts. It’s true, I’m completely smitten and I’m just making up for lost time!
One day, my son may read this blog post and I will look him in the eye and say, “It’s true. Not all babies are born cute. If you ever see a baby that is not-so-cute, just think, one day that little baby may grow up just as good-looking as you.”