Babies Get Too Much Credit

In the United States, Mother’s Day just passed where we express appreciation for the mothers in our lives. What I saw from my first go-around on the inside of Mother’s Day and not just a cursory greeting card purchaser, is that Mother’s Day is barely about the mother. If you spent any time on social media, you’d see a bunch of people paying half-ass praise to their mother while aggrandizing themselves. “Thank you to my Mom for raising a strong, capable, responsible world citizen!”mothersdaytothestreets

The thing is, kids get too much credit. Babies come out of the womb being called a miracle. Whoever first said, “a baby is a miracle,” must have been one of those farmers from an age where, if you had three kids survive out of 15, it was truly a miracle. “We saved little Bobby the XVII from coyotes this time, we have a family! It’s a miracle!” People who call babies miracles do know that they’re basically useless for a minimum of three years, right? I mean, newborn baby colts come out able to walk immediately, baby humans can’t even control their limbs and motor functions for a year.

Not all parents are great. I know that. My mantra, “crackheads raise babies, crackheads raise babies” which I use like a meditative om, is the only thing that keeps me scooting on my taint on the razor thin edge between manic parenting and manic episode, preventing me from tilting over to infanticide. I’m on the verge of a near constant nervous breakdown.  I can do better than a crackhead, can’t I? She won’t sleep and emits blood curdling cries at 1 AM for two straight hours, “crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids.” Vomits in your face an hour after feeding, “crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids.” Just ate 15 minutes ago for an hour but wants more even though she’ll just spit up and eat more and spit up and eat more, “crackheads have…crack. I want crack. Anyone got any crack?”

Conceptually, I knew what I was getting into, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotional onslaught that a baby poses. It’s not cuteness and cooing. It’s every hour, every minute, tending to some need that the lil’ sentient tumor can’t even communicate. And people dare to call the thing that lurks in the corner of my house making demon noises and only pausing to smile while unleashing projectile diarrhea between diapers when her sphincter is relaxed and exposed to the air, a miracle.

Why are we heaping praise on the baby? Don’t tell me my baby is cute, tell me that I don’t look like a homeless person–which is the highest praise I could get right now. Don’t tell me that my baby is a sweet little angel, tell me that I look like I’ve lost weight or that the bags under my eyes make me look like I’m “smoldering.” The kid hasn’t earned any praise. I’ve tried to see if I can earn off the baby, I’ve tried to sell dirty diapers to Japanese business men, make cute YouTube videos, but unless you want to sell the actual baby, there’s no market for babies. People make money off of your baby, you can’t make money off your baby.

St. Malverde image source
St. Malverde image source

Babies aren’t a miracle, parents not succumbing to the shroud of insanity that come with babies, is the real miracle. I’m not there yet, I still have to pray to St. Jesus Malverde, the patron saint of drug dealers, or St. Gordon Ramsay, the patron saint of misdirected anger.

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12 Comments

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  1. You’d think we’d wise up at some point and quit making those things.

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  2. As you slowly come to appreciate the horror that is parenthood, shouldn’t that make you appreciate your own parents more? After all, they fished you out of the brine and raised you up to be a fine pickle.

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  3. It looked a lot like you describe it to me, so I opted out of the baby making industry. Being surrounded by leaky ankle biters was not my idea of fun. Oh sure, once in a while someone hands one to me and I try to do the mommy rock, but if it leaks or smells funny or starts making noise I hand it right back. The extremely long term responsibility is also worrisome, but I like your attitude. Even crackheads have babies.

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  4. So it’s only 1/4 pickle and 1/4 antelope?

    You should have married a pickle. Then you wouldn’t have had to worry about it until it was full grown and ready for picking.

    Humans are gross.

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  5. Your little pickleope is an angel, who will grow up to be an alcoholic or will stop speaking to you for reasons unknown, or if you’re super lucky, she’ll be a meth head whose teeth will fall out, thus wasting all the money you spent on orthodontics. Enjoy the angel while you can. I still want a name and a photo.

    Love,
    Janie

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  6. Yeah way back when babies would be considered a miracle as they often didn’t survive now days it is unusual for a baby to not survive even the very premature babies can survive now days, what is a miracle is that more mothers don’t have breakdowns and freak outs dealing with babies and toddlers because toddlers like to push our buttons to see which one will set us off into a screaming fit or meltdown.

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  7. Ugh, that sounds exhausting. Can you give it back?

    Also, do you know what you get when you praise a baby too much? Donald Trump.
    You know what you get when you praise a cat too much? Literally the exact same cat bc cats dont care about your opinions.

    Case closed.

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  8. OK. That Tweet is HILARIOUS!

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  9. It’s possible that what you just described is probably why the entire country of Japan has all but stopped procreating altogether. Nothing prepares you for projectile diarrhea!

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  10. What the hell is going on around here? I leave for a mere year or so and suddenly there are baby pickleopes brining up the joint? Sorry for your pain and loss of freedom but this whole thing was hilarious. Also, I’m on a Kitchen Nightmares binge lately and Mr. Ramsay exhausts me, in the best possible way.

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  11. abeerfortheshower May 15, 2016 — 7:38 pm

    Not only is “Lil’ sentient tumor” the greatest thing I’ve ever heard anyone call a baby, it’s also A) the reason I have no desire to have one and B) the name of my new emo noisetronica band, so thanks for that.

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