Saturday, May 15, 2010

I am Bad with Babies

Does anyone else find that babies make for awkward social situations? I find it very hard to gush over a baby*. I'm sure that, like with dreams, if it's your baby it's great, and if by some ass-backwards set of circumstances I end up having a baby (ass-backwards probably wasn't the best term to use there) then I'm sure it will be the Best Baby In The World (Ever), and I will make you all look at it until your eyes bleed from its sheer awesomeness. And I like the babies of friends and family because you sort of have to. But when someone brings their baby in to work I usually find an excuse to leave the room.

*"But they're so cuuuute!" you will be saying. No, they aren't. They are wrinkled and out of proportion. Like your grandpare- oh, you think old people are cute too? Get out of my blog. (But not really because I get upset when my readership drops and wonder what I am doing wrong and the answer is "blogging about not liking babies.")

Babies in a social setting make me uncomfortable, like being at a party where everyone else works for the same company and talks about that company all night, and you are left feeling awkward because you don't work for that company and just don't get it. Like being the sole non-podiatrist at a podiatrist's convention (I'm not sure how that situation would come up), and listening to everyone go on and on and on about something that you completely fail to see the appeal of. That is exactly how I am about people bringing babies into work because within 0.2 seconds everyone is crowding round the pram shouting about how nice it smells and how perfect its little fingers are, and I am hovering at the back looking politely enthusiastic and thinking, who invited this baby? It is too small to refresh my drink and too squirmy to set my drink upon and it hasn't said anything witty all evening.

And I don't know what to say when someone presents me with their new baby. "Well done. This is a good baby you've made," seems a bit formal, and "I can't believe this came out of you" seems a bit informal, especially if you don't know the person well. I tend to say, "Congratulations! S/he's beautiful," except mumble the s/he's bit really fast and quite quietly because when someone told you the baby's gender you were not listening and don't want to take a guess even though there is a 50/50 chance you'll be right, because apparently thinking someone's little girl is a little boy is a mortal sin (why did you bloody well dress it in blue, then?) even though at this point the baby resembles nothing so much as a monkey, or perhaps Winston Churchill's sex face.

And then, when you have made an awkward statement of how nice the baby is, the proud mother says, "Do you want to hold it?" and freak the fuck out and go "Oh my God, no! I will break it!" - but wait no you don't, that's rude. You back away awkwardly and say that you think Angela would like a go. And she does. Because everyone else in the room has got sudden Bieber-fever for this baby and you are the only person standing there thinking wildly, "Why are all these women so clucky? Should I be clucky? Are they all just faking babyfever better than I am?" And then the men get into it and shit gets weird and I pretend to have an appointment somewhere else.



a cat of impossible colour said...

I am bad with babies too.


Those two statements are unrelated.

uglygirl said...

I am the same with engagement rings. I'll be all, "Read any good books lately," and some other chick will be squealing, "Show me the ring! Oh, it's so gorgeous! How did he propose? When will the wedding be?"


Babies are usually ugly and covered in rashes and wrinkly and smelly. Blech.

Old people can be cute. I have to tell myself that because I want to specialise in Geriatrics.

TheEverDazzling said...

You have no idea how thrilling it is to hear another woman say how bad they are with babies.
I'll be stoked enough when they can do something, you know, like talk or play or tell me I'm rad... but until then, I don't understand what's so great about tiny people.
It's not so secret for me, but I'm bad with babies too.

Posie Patchwork said...

Oh i hear you, even as a mother of 4 of my own babies, who by the way were beautiful & perfect, still are . . . i am extremely judgemental on others as their babise are usually ugly.
My husband doesn't like other people's children either. Yet he can't help himself with new babies, freak that is he, he takes crying babies - yes, the ones NO BODY wants & is some kind of baby whisperer & settles them. Just for the record, my husband is a big tough soldier!!
Anyway, the first babies i really felt comfortable with were my own. When you do . . . do try not to have them in a ass backwards kind of way, although in labour, you do start to wonder which hole they are coming out of, lots of pressure back there!! See, THAT's the kind of information you need to know!! Love Posie

liz said...

im not really around babies all that often, but when i have been i've seen some ugly ones. (not all times)

and for some reason you're not allowed to say a BABY is ugly, because suddenly there will be a curse upon you and you will have an ugly one yourself. wth,LMAO! some babies are really ugly. Some grow out of it and some dont people should learn to accept it. ^_^

Katie said...

Seriously, I love you. I had an inkling we were meant to be friends after your post about Nine (Fergie WAS the highlight! What's that about!?!??) but now I know for sure.
This reminds me of one time when I had to hold my cousins baby and it went all floppy and I thought I had smothered it with my shoulder/boob, so I was all 'FUCK!!!! Now I'm going to have to skip the country with concealed drugs to fund my escape!!!!' but it had actually just gone to sleep.

Surprisingly Bright said...

Admittedly I am good with babies, However, I don't necessarily agree with their presence in the workplace. They cause a commotion and never quite know when to leave. I mean, I've got work to do and all the ooohs and ahhhhs have a tendency to distract. So skedaddle and take your pacifier with you.

Holly said...

I like babies, I think they're cute, but I'm totally with you on the whole "No I do not want to hold it! I will drop it!" thing!

Kind of also why I don't ever want to teach new entrants. Yes they're cute, and they'd be fun, but I might screw their education up for life!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I actually like babies. *ducks*

However, most babies look like Winston Churchill! Our foster baby will sit up and put his head on his head and he looks exactly like Winston Churchill! Except he's black.

Jackie said...

Babies, blech. There's more of us out here than you'd think. I can deal with them once they can start to hold their own heads up and can fend for themselves and stuff but I still won't hold them. They also tend to cry when they see me...I dunno why. Maybe they have some sort of 6th sense about me.

Helga! said...

Babies are seething with germs,vermin and disease.It is your health's best interest NOT to touch them,nor even breathe near them.I understand they like to be shaken.Now that's WEIRD!
OMG Amy is having a bay?Narcisstic twit.

Rob Hosking said...

" by some ass-backwards set of circumstances I end up having a baby (ass-backwards probably wasn't the best term to use there)"

You're right.

The word is ARSE. A fine old term.

IT IS ALLY said...


uglygirl - Oh man, me too. I am always on the edge of an eyeroll. Good luck with the old people! Surely not all of them are forgetful and incontinent.

EverDazzling - Glad I'm not the only one! Did not expect so many bad-with-babies to come out of the woodwork

Posie - You are now my go-to for all gross pregnancy questions! Congratulations. Also I'm glad that you can be a mother and still think other people's babies are butt ugly.

Liz - Yes. One day we will live in a world where people can freely say, "Woah! That baby looks strange."

Katie - ahahahaha! I like it when you hold the baby and its head flops back and you think somehow you have broken its neck. That;s good fun. Have never smothered a baby with my cleavage, though, so you win.

Bright - Yes! Is hard to work when a) everyone is making baby noises and b) colleagues are not there because they are making baby noises.

Holly - You will warp their tiny minds! That would be kind of fun, though.

Luinae - I will have to get you to explain this baby-liking thing to me sometime. Also, this sentence confused me: "Our foster baby will sit up and put his head on his head..." He sounds like the kind of baby I would like.

Jackie - Yeah me too! They know we are not Baby People, that is what it is

Helga! - Hahahaha! They do love a good shake, babies. What's with that?

Rob - I know - I use 'ass' and 'arse' because I can't decide whether it's more important to cater to my American or UK market.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Look, I'm a baby and I have to say while yes, we look like Winston Churchill shivering his timbers, at the same time we are the, er, y'know, future and that? And SOME of you, and you know who you are, used to be babies. Gotta go, and I am hungry/tired/shattened.

Gemma said...

Thank fuck it's not just me. Once my cousin tried handing me her screaming baby. I just ran away, but i guess you can do that with family. later on when i was forced to hold him he puked on me. Simply adorable...

BookieMonster said...

I was at a party once that had various sizes of people, and my husband and I ended up standing for a while near a capsule-thingy with a sleeping baby.

A woman asked me if the baby was ours and was rewarded with an appalled "Good GOD, no!" from me.

She didn't talk to me much after that, and neither did the actual parents, funnily enough.

I am turning out to be pretty handy with teens though, which is a useful thing now.

Tooting Squared said...

Babies, I can take or leave. It's PARENTS who talk about their babies All. The. Time. That I can't stand. At least the baby doesn't tell you about its own birth, its poos, what it ate, how long it slept for, etc etc etc. Given a choice, I'd sit in a room for an hour with a new child over a new parent.

VW - Plipo. What a pleasing word. Plipo, plipo, plipo.

Juli Ryan said...

I used to hate when people would bring their babies to work. I just didn't know how to gush or cluck. Awkward. Even now that I have had a baby myself, I still don't fawn over other people's.

I have learned how to hold babies and not be afraid of dropping them or breaking them, which is progress, I suppose. And I'm not bored with the topic of childrearing, like I was before I had a baby.

And I do like my own baby. He's really cute. But I never brought him to my old job to show him off. Even though most people like stuff like that. Cuz yuck. xo's

otherworldlyone said...

I'm the same. I'm even bad with my own kid sometimes.

This woman brought her two little boys into the office a few weeks ago and they were running up and down the hallways and making lots of noise. Everyone just gathered around outside MY effing office door and cooed over them. The mom stopped them as they whizzed by to introduce them to me (because I was the only one still sitting at my desk and ignoring the little fuckers). And I nodded at them and said, "What's up". Apparently that was menacing? Because they made terrified faces and ran away.

Sigh. No, what I wanted to say and didn't was meancing. "Hey, shut up fuckers! You see this letter opener? Huh? STOP RUNNING!"

Amy said...

So glad I'm in such good company. If I had written this post it would be offensive and bitchy, but you're just flat out hilarious.