Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Confessions of a self proclaimed baby-phobe (the medically correct term is pedophobe but that just sounds wrong).

   This summer I went on a journey of self discovery. Not a real journey, those take a lot of planning and apparently money, so the physical journey of self discovery will be taking place in the future (more on that that later... maybe.. but probably not).
     No folks, this summer I had an emotional journey of self discovery, set in motion and made possible by several individuals and many technological communication devices.

   Okay so if we want to get technical here, it was really someone else's emotional journey. They put in all the hard work, heartbreak, struggle and joy and what I did was watch from afar and feed off the emotion emanating from various Facebook posts and/or texts. At any rate, while someone else was going through what was perhaps simultaneously the most difficult and joyous time of their life, I was cyber stalking them and learning some things about myself. So here's the thing....

I actually really like a baby.

    I know right? I don't like babies. I'm a self diagnosed baby-phobe. I don't understand them, I can't stop them from crying, and I'm always sure their parent's are judging me for not holding them right. But there is something about this baby... I'm not even related to her and yet every time I see a picture of her I make that obnoxious sound that dumb girls make every time they see a picture of a cat wearing clothes.
     Watch this: I give you, Baby Piper.........

"With the pearls! And the Bow! Eeek and her TINY FINGERS!"

      I know you guys, I'm broken. What is wrong with me?! I hate myself for loving this baby. What is it about her that gives me that weird excitement gurgle in the pit of my stomach? 
    I have always been able to judge babies completely objectively. (Not all babies are cute, and if you don't want to know the truth don't show me your baby because it's hard for me to lie convincingly.) So I guess it's possible that this is in fact the cutest baby in the world right? Because that's what my formerly objective brain is telling me.
      (Maybe it's because I have never met her- it's a lot easier to like something when you've never smelled it's poop.)

     This baby has me doubting myself in ways I never thought possible. A large portion of my personality is dependent on my apathy towards babies. If I admit to liking this baby, what comes next? I start liking pink toss pillows and Precious Moments figurines and start wearing bows in my hair and volunteering to teach Sunday School? If this is where it starts, where does it end?
    I noticed a wavering in my stance on babies a few months ago when I met my friend's daughter Maggie, of "token baby" fame.  I enjoyed that baby's company to the point where I almost volunteered to babysit. Almost.

    But there is something about this baby. Her story, or rather her parent's story, and her tiny LITTLE CHUBBY CHEEKS, and how she somehow accidentally became a part of my life. 
     So anyway, at the risk of bringing this whole Blog crashing down around itself due to it's flaky comedic foundation not being able to support the weight of this post, here is my confession: 

The Truthful Tale of How I Became Uncharacteristically Emotionally Attached to a Baby I Have Never Even Met.

   My sister's friend Kari got pregnant.* Obviously that's the beginning of the story, since the story ends with a baby. I didn't really care at that point though. No offense to anyone but people get pregnant all the time. I have documented proof (Sixteen and Pregnant) that it doesn't take a scholar to form an embryo. 
      *Why does that sound dirty? Anybody else notice that? It just always sounds like an accident when you put it that way... like, "I got Mono". I tried to class it up  but "with child" makes it sound like Jesus is about to pop out.

    So my sister was all,
  "Hey my friend is pregnant isn't that great?" and I said:
    "Ya cool!" and thought "Great, another freakin baby I'm gonna have to pretend is cute"

   But over the course of the next few months as I learned more about Kari, her husband, and the tiny person that one day would be Piper I found myself in an awkward place- emotionally invested in the lives of a family I do not know. 
   Kari's husband is a Marine and is currently deployed overseas. When they found out he would not be there for Piper's birth they began making plans to document everything as best they could. My sister is addicted to event planning and I can only imagine she jumped in and was halfway through the baby shower decoration designs with a junkie's glimmer in her eye before Kari even had a chance to ask her. She connected Kari with my roommate Rhema to take some maternity photos.
   It wasn't long before I was hearing about Kari from not only my sister but my roommate, my mother, and a friend of the family. Given my penchant for not giving a crap, I got nervous when I found myself caring.
   I actually wanted to know how things were going... I would text my sister just to check up on the tiny bun in a stranger's oven, and I found myself doing something I still have a hard time admitting- I Facebook stalked.*

      *It turned out to be less awkward when I found out Kari is a fan of this blog and had stalked me on more than one occasion. Still, it's just more creepy to sift through maternity pictures of a couple you don't even know...

   When I was told it was a girl I actually squeaked a little. It was so out of character that a coworker who was sitting near me when it happened actually offered me a painkiller. I found myself thinking about tiny little dresses and dolls. Seriously what is WITH that? I have seen a ton of baby girls before and my foremost thought is usually "we get it, she's a princess, can we tone down the pastels please?". And yet....

Gah!!! with the BOWS.... and the FEATHERS!

    Because Kari's husband couldn't be there for the birth my sister was offered the job. Don't even ask me how that happened, I'm still mystified. I love my sister but I can only imagine it going down like this:
      "OMG it's like, so gross down there. Oh Gosh what is HAPPENING?! Look I know you're the one in labor but I just really need to tweet about this.. it's like, soooo exciting! OMG are you ok? Push.... now smile for the camera!"*
     *I'm told it was nothing like this and she is a responsible adult.. but I can't get the 16 year old version out of my head.

   At any rate my sister was in the delivery room holding an iPhone with Kari's husband watching via Skype. Doesn't that just give you the tingles? It makes you want to smile all big and cry a little at the sweetness and emotion of it all right?* 
           *What has become of me? Maybe I should start collecting Beanie Babies.

    Because of my sister's very serious addiction to cell phones I was informed almost immediately when little Piper was on her way. I spent the next several hours locked in an emotional struggle with myself that went something like this:

Me: Oh my gosh Piper is on her way! I hope it's going alright! I hope Kari is okay!
Me: What do you care? it's so late go to bed already.
Me: But the baby is coming! I haven't gotten an update in awhile.. I hope everything is okay...
Me: You don't even know these people. If they let Leslie into the delivery room how smart can they be?
Me: But...baby...
Me: is going to be gooey and smooshed and not cute at all... go to bed..
Me: Baby's coming...
Me: Who gives a crap?
Me: Baby....

    It's important to point out here that of course my emotional struggle is minuscule compared to the person actually giving birth without her husband there to hold her hand. Even thinking about the emotion-casserole involved in the whole situation makes me tear up a little. I can't stop admiring their strength.
     That said when I finally got an update saying an emergency C-section was scheduled I actually got worry-pangs in my stomach. Worry about two things:
    1. I hope and pray that Kari and Piper are both okay.
    2. I hope this baby is cute so I don't have to lie about it.

   I have been shown literally dozens of grainy cell phone pics of newborns and I think we can all agree that 90% of them are disgusting. For pete's sake can we just clean the white goo off it's face before snapping a photo? No one needs to remember the goo twenty years from now. I've seen pictures of me fresh out of the uterus and they are not attractive. I was born with the under-eye bags of a sixty-year old insomniac with a drinking problem.
   So I was at first surprised, then relieved, and finally horrified when I received my first picture of Piper and immediately thought she was beautiful...

With the tiny fingers holding the big finger!!! and her tiny little nose!!!

    Seriously I can't figure it out. Have I lost all objectivity, or is this honestly one of the cutest newborns in the world?  Suddenly I became that person running around the workplace forcing coworkers who couldn't give a crap to look at grainy cell phone pictures of my sister's friend's new baby. I abhorred myself at the time, and everyone else just thought maybe I was on drugs because why else would I be this emotional.  

    At any rate, it all went well and I received dozens of other pictures in the following weeks. My mother is now providing daycare for Piper and from what I can tell my whole family is just as obsessed with her. I can't decide if this is normal or not but there you have it. 
    I skyped them last week but it turns out babies aren't very good at video chat. They can't hold their heads up so they just stare at the ceiling and get increasingly frustrated by the disembodied voices. Nothing you say can really help them understand either.. comments like 
   "Hey baby, over here!" are met with startled gurgling and you can't help but follow it up with 
   "Hey baby, this is Jesus speaking... I'm watching you.... mwahahahaha.... oh don't cry baby I love you! I was just being funny..."

   I can't wait to meet this baby. Of course it's possible that this entire thing is only happening in my imagination and I'm really just like that crazy lady who stalked Paula Abdul for like four years or whatever, and the only result of this post will be a restraining order. I don't even care because this baby is way cuter than Paula Abdul and I don't want to kidnap her I just want to be her friend.

Look! with the teddy bear! And she is sucking her TINY thumb!!!

WHO AM I???!!!!!

   ***All of Piper's baby pictures were taken by Rhema Sturgeon of Rhema Faith Photography. I'm not just saying this to be nice, you all know I would never do that, but she is extremely talented and artistic. Check out her website here or follow the link on the side of my blog to visit her blog!***


  1. I.... kind of know how you feel. Only the baby I am obsessed with is actually "related" to me in an honorary way. But I agree. This baby is pretty much the cutest baby I have ever seen (after my baby obsession of course).

  2. Cute post! I can actually relate although it probably doesn't appear so, since I do have 6 kids. BUT...most newborns are NOT cute. (except a few of mine)

  3. I'm so glad you relate to this.. it's hard to explain to people that I'm not a fan of other kids, but I like this one and I do plan on having my own someday..

  4. Babies are gross...but I'd like one. Actually, is it possible to just have the baby for the cute 1-2 phase, and then skip to like, 12, and then just go ahead and skip ahead to 22.