Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marlee vs Baby

Something interesting you may not know about me before this trip? I'm 26, and have never held a baby. Ever. And not by lack of opportunity either. It takes a lot of skill to keep from holding a baby when everyone in the room assumes that since I am a woman I must be naturally inclined to holding an infant. That I want to hold them. That I simply can't wait to oooh and aaah over their little fingers and toes. Not the case.

I'm the random girl who stands in the corner when a coworker brings her new baby to work, making slow movements towards the door and secretly praying for a meteor to hit directly across the street so that I may direct my attention elsewhere. I grab whatever is nearby so my hands are full. I develop a hacking cough and excuse myself to the restroom. I'm so skilled in the baby deflection dance I could be on a friggin' reality television show.

You may laugh, but I'm going to be frank here. Babies. Are. Terrifying.

Why? Not because of the potential spit-up or diaper blowout, or the sheer fragility of their existence, but because they haven't learned how to sugarcoat their criticisms yet.

That's right. Babies are rude. If you're not funny, they cry. If you smell bad, they cry. If you look strange, they cry. With all this information I am left to think if someone hands me a baby and the baby starts crying, they are confirming my deep-seated fears of being a boring, smelly, strange-looking individual. I'm defective, and somehow this tiny person can sense it, and they are going to spread the word like wildfire.

So for the entire 8 hour drive on my way to meet my 4-month old niece, my mind was racing trying to recall my best baby deflection one-liners:
"Oh I'd love to hold Junior, but I'm really sick...with tuberculosis."
"I have a phobia of miniature sized clothing."
"I just got off work at the roadkill processing plant."
"I didn't take my seizure medication this morning."
"I'm actually deathly allergic to babbling."

These aren't even the good ones (I'm still kind of saving those), but the fact is nothing really works on my brother because he knows me. He knows I don't have seizures and he knows I don't work at a roadkill processing plant. I had no way out.

I walked in the door and my sister-in-law put her in my arms. I held her in a position crossed between holding a cat and holding a football. She squirmed. We made eye-contact.

Moment of truth.

She stared. I stared. Days passed. Months. I could feel my face turning red. She was judging me.

She laughed.

She thinks I'm funny!

Score. My niece is freaking awesome. She thinks I'm hilarious. No big deal. 

The rest of the week was cake. She never cried, except for a small 2-minute warning whine to let us all know she had started her internal countdown to explosive torture, but 2 minutes is a long time to determine wet, hungry, or tired, so explosive torture never really arrived. Add on the fact that my sister-in-law has her daughter's sounds down to an exact science, already knowing ahead of time exactly what was coming next.

I found I'm not as bad as I thought I was. I played with her all week, ingraining into her head that I am the most amusing aunt she has, and even fed her a couple times. Sometimes she looks at me in a condescending "you're making a fool out of yourself" way, but I like to think that she is simply being sarcastic. Which I also like to think she picked up from me over the weekend.


  1. That's awesome! Glad she has the gift of sarcasm.

  2. So sweet!!! You know, I don't like holding babies either, and I HAVE TWO KIDS!!! HEHE, such a great pic. I'm so glad the two of you had a blast this last week. And thanx for bringing the warm weather here with ya. We've been needing it!

  3. Love this post. Babies make me nervous. I think it has something to do with the fact that I dropped my cousin when he was a baby. Twice. In one day.

  4. :D I looove this post. haha made me laugh the whole way through. so fantastic.

  5. nice blog:)love the post.
    please visit my blog whenever you have time and give me your valuable feedbacks:)

  6. Aaaaaaw, that is awesome! babies are so funny when they laugh. :)

  7. Lol worried about nothing!! I think babies can tell if your family also ;) loving her lil outfit :)

  8. I truly enjoy your sense of humor and writing style. I'm so glad you 'happened upon' me, which made me happen upon you.

  9. LOL! I am glad she thought you were funny! I sometimes wonder if babies can smell/sense fear? I hope not cause I would be up a creek for sure

  10. And you get the best of it - like me, you get to give her back!!! (Seriously - that's the bonus of other people's kids. You can be the crazy auntie and do cool stuff and teach her to be sarcastic. Then you can sugar her up and send her home. I love my friends.)

    I enjoy your posts - glad I found you!

  11. Love your blog. I've always felt the same about babies. (And I have children!) Thanks for sharing.

  12. I love the honesty of this post...and am happy for such a great outcome.
    I could not imagine never having held a bub, I grew up dreaming of being a mum and was so involved with babies from just a young age.

  13. I share your sentiments about babies until, I, too, held my niece, and she laughed and laughed, and laughed...

    I was so happy and relieved she found my mug to be entertainment for her, and ever since, she's taught me the gift of laughter.

  14. That's awesome! I was totally like you too. My friend and I said we were absent the day God gave out those hugging baby genes.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and esp. for commenting!

  15. I love my children but don't care about other kids and never liked holding babies.


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