Saturday, February 26, 2011

They're not all cute

Meet Jack. 

He's ten months old, a crawling fiend, a major drooler. And he's obviously cute. Just look at those gigantic baby blues and chubby cheeks. 

Jack's cute. This is a function of good genes. It is not a function of all babies being cute. B/c they're not. I'm sorry to say it, and I know many people will balk, but babies are not cute simply by virtue of being babies. 

I love babies. I desperately want to have one (and then another and then another). If you've been reading this blog for five seconds, you have probably gathered that. I've cradled (tortured?) the cats innumerable times, cooing at them as if they are cuddly human beings (and then snarling in frustration that they are not). So this is anything but anti-baby sentiment. I mean, does anyone believe that a baby has to be cute to be an absolute blessing and joy? I sure hope we don't judge babies on that basis anymore than we do people above the age of 3. 

And for those who would accuse me of callousness resulting from the fact that I am not yet a mother, I offer this: both my own mother and Amanda - mother of sweetie Jack and my "date" from many posts ago - are in total agreement with me. (Let it be noted that so are Brad, Shannon, and Butcher, but as far as I can tell, none of them is a mother either.) 

Maybe it's true that every parent thinks his or her own child is cute. And if you buy that "cuteness" is simply a matter of personal taste - that if someone thinks any given baby is cute, that's enough to make her cute - then my assertion can never be right. And that's fine. But, I don't buy it. I subscribe to the view that there are at least some basic standards for cuteness (a la Edmund Burke on beauty) that we all recognize, whether instinctually or b/c of conditioning or whatever (I ain't a psychologist, people). And so it must be said that this whole "every baby's cute" baloney is, well, baloney.

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