Tag Archives: identity

Baby People

11 Apr

Come on, you’ve seen her.

Every family reunion, she has somebody’s baby on her lap.  She corners pregnant women at the grocery store and asks them how far along they are and if they’ve picked out names yet. She loves talking to anyone 24 months or younger and when she does, she dwops her Rs because evewyfing is so fweaking pwecious.

Who's precious? Hm? Who's a precious sweetie? Who's a sweetie-peetie punkin berry? Is it you? IS IT YOU?

She isn’t necessarily an extrovert, but when she sees a baby, she just can’t help it.  She goes into a weird, maternal crack fit and her fix is baby smell.  She needs to hold babies. She lives in their world, man; she thinks their thoughts.

She’s a Baby Person.

And if you think she’s going to let a baby slip under her radar?  Dude, you’re out of your mind.

Don’t misunderstand me, by the way.  This isn’t a complaint.  We need our Baby People.  They remind us of a time when the world wasn’t so bleak and cynical.  Eventually, babies turn into brooding, tortured teens and we should probably thank the Baby People for stopping it from happening even earlier in life.  We should cherish them for who they are, for doing what they do.

Since discovering our newfound triplet fortune, we’ve become acquainted with a few Baby People.  We’ve found they’re often incognito, waiting to pounce, like undercover FBI.  Fact is, they’re everywhere.  You know plenty of them.

My wife and I, on the other hand?  Well, there’s no other way to say it: we’re not Baby People.

So, listen, you're looking great. I trust all your needs are being met and things are going well for you. If not, seriously, give me a shout. We'll get together or something.

Now, we don’t hate babies; we don’t even dislike them.  We just can’t relate.  We’re happy to smile at your baby and congratulate you on such attractive offspring.  We say things like “aww” and “look how sweet”.  We’ll shake your hand and pat the little nipper’s head and there’s a really good chance that, later on, we’ll remark to each other, “wasn’t that a cute baby?”  But we probably won’t grab your baby out of your hands without an invitation.  We won’t do that thing where we pull up your baby’s shirt and blow mouth farts into his belly.  Nothing personal, we’re just not in the Baby Business.  That’s the exclusive province of the Baby People.

And soon we’ll have triplets.

My wife is a little panicked.  If you’ve never met her, you’ll need to take my word for it: she really is an interesting, stylish lady.  She works at a high-end salon and, in her spare time, she cooks vegan and campaigns on behalf of the environment and animal rights.  She’s a fan of all things mod.  She’s colorful, quirky, offbeat and multi-layered.  But she’s worried all that is slipping away.  She’s going to have to be The Lady With The Triplets, end of story.

Me, I don’t know.  I’m sure healthy, highly functional human beings can be raised by two parents who aren’t necessarily Baby People.  And fact is, we’re going to need the help of lots of Baby People to get through these initial months.  We don’t know what we’re doing.  Hearing from other triplet parents has helped enormously, but it certainly hasn’t begun to transform us into a couple who emails pictures of baby outfits to each other with the subject “OMG CUTEST EVER”.

Baby People, are you born or are you made?  Can a non-BP transform into a BP?  Is it inevitable?  Can we hang onto our identities as arty intellectuals or are we destined to be the human zoo?

Help us, Baby People!  Teach us!