Babies Are Absurd

I was washing the dishes yesterday with Miss C in her little Rock ‘N Play thing next to me, just watching me. And it occurred to me.

Babies are ridiculous. Truly ridiculous.

Pocket-sized counterintuitivness

I think it’s like when you say a word over and over and over, and eventually it sounds like martian-talk. When you think about babies, really think about them, they are absurd. I needed to wash the dishes, but unless I was in her direct line of sight and could entertain her while doing so, she was going to get upset. So there I was, scrubbing the pots, with a person parked next to me. She had nothing else going on. Just looking at me, washing the dishes. She makes those people who play World of Warcraft 24 hours a day look downright industrious. But that’s where the silliness begins; even though she’s just sitting and watching and listening to me make dumb sounds at her, she’s learning more than I did in an entire semester of college.

The lunacy all begins with labor. You have a little person inside of you, but it can’t fit anymore, so you have to push it out. YOU HAVE TO PUSH A PERSON OUT OF YOUR LADY BITS. It’s nightmarish and science-fictioney, but it’s standard protocol. It’s how things work, and that’s absurd to me.

The person comes out, and it’s the shape of a human, but there is nothing remotely human about it. It has a head, two arms, two legs, and a torso, but it has absolutely no control whatsoever over its gelatinous state. If an adult were so schlumpy, it would be paralyzed. But being a 7-pound bag of Nickeldeon Gak is normal for newborn babies.

The silliness just compounds as the baby gets bigger. It throws up about 200 times a day, but this constant regurgitation doesn’t upset it as it would a normal person. No. What does upset it is if you don’t sing “Baby Beluga” for three hours nonstop. Well that makes sense.

All the baby really has going for it for awhile is that it is cute. It’s a good thing too because it can’t go to bathroom by itself, can’t feed itself, can’t talk, and can’t walk. It’s basically a rock that cries. It can’t sit up. I mean, come on. The kid can’t even sit up. It couldn’t even be a greeter at Walmart if it wanted to.

But it’s adored beyond comprehension. Ridiculous amounts of money is spent on it and its parents are obsessed with it. B and I are about to cancel Netflix mostly because we’d rather watch her make silly faces than watch Mad Men, and that’s saying something.

Grandparents may even buy shoes for it. Shoes. Think about that for a second. Miss C can’t even walk, but she has a pair of Toms. I don’t even have a pair of Toms. Miss C has more clothes than my husband has, and I obsess over finding cute new outfits costumes for her to wear, despite the fact that she will grow out of them within four months.

For awhile, the baby eats only one or two things; milk and/or formula. My baby has only ever tasted two things. She’s the equivalent of a sad college student who eats ramen noodles and Kool-Aid everyday and doesn’t even question it because she knows that’s her life. But to her, it never gets old. She still gets the crazy eyes when she sees me lift my shirt or prepare a bottle. Babies get so excited over eating. It’s ludicrous. Sometimes her gums hurt really bad and I give her some cherry flavored suspension gel to ease the pain. HOLY CRAP when she sees me take that stuff out she goes BANANAS. Have you ever looked forward to taking an Advil? Like you wish you had a cramp or a headache so you could whip it out? Probably not, because you’re not an insane baby.

Your life turns upside-down when you have a baby. You will likely have friends who do not envy your new position as a parent at all, but the absurdity is all worth it. My life is a madhouse, but the featured performer makes it all worth it.


Thanks to everyone who responded to my post yesterday and went over to Le Clown’s blog to vote for my blog! Honestly, I thought I would *maybe* get two or three people to go over and root for me, but I was astounded by the outpouring of love from your guys. I’m now in third place and up against some SERIOUS competition. (Dude, it’s Le Clown’s blogroll; of course people want on.) If you didn’t vote yesterday, please go check out my entry into today’s Mad Lib challenge. If you like it, simply comment “like” on it. And write your own Mad Lib too! C’mon. All the cool kids are doing it.


  1. Babies are little freaks and I mean that in the best way. Some of them look like little old people with bright eyes and I love when they discover their fingers and toes and how to clap and throw things. BTW, “a 7-pound bag of Nickeldeon Gak” is hilarious. Never have heard ANYONE describe a newborn like that, Em. I voted for you and I submitted my story. I’ll go check yours out. Hey, at least when you unbutton your shirt, someone is ALWAYS salivating and looking greedily, right? And you have the added bonus of getting that pretty much any time of day.

    1. Very true, Brig! They ARE freaks. When C was born, she looked like an insect; don’t get me wrong, she was still super cute, but she looked like a praying mantis. Thanks for your vote! I am a little unsettled by how much I want to be on that dang clown’s blogroll.

  2. Your funny post made me long to be able to go back in time and spend one day with each of my kids as a baby again. Is there anything better than the scent of a baby’s head?

    1. Come to think of it, no. No, there definitely isn’t anything better, except maybe taking a nap with her little body next to me. It’s the absolute best feeling ever. Oh and by the way, I *might* be tearing up thinking about it. ;D Thanks, Carrie.

  3. Lovelovelove. Yes! :) lol. Babies are wonderful things :)

    1. Oh excuse me: *people. Not things. ;)

      1. Haha sometimes they are a little more thing-like than people-like.

  4. Babies are aliens sent from another planet to destroy us.
    They are lucky they are so friggin cute.

    1. I know, right?!

      For some reason your comment went to my Spam folder. This is obviously a mistake because you don’t have a million misspellings and you’re not awkwardly telling me how the information I provided was extremely useful.

      1. I also noticed something weird….I tried to comment and didn’t see it appear on your page, so I think I tried several more times and then gave up. So sorry if you got 3+ comments from me!

  5. I love the image of you being watched while doing the dishes. I had to install a clear shower curtain in our bathroom so my son could watch me while I showered. He sat in his bouncy seat, chewing on some goo covered object, and was happy. If I left him in his crib or his father, he howled like an angry monkey. Oh! And you could shut him up by holding a Boston Market flyer in front of him. He’d stare at that thing for 1/2 an hour while my husband read the newspaper. How’s that for ridiculous.

    1. Yes! That is exactly what I’m talking about. And I don’t know why I didn’t think of the clear shower curtain. C usually just gets soaked from the waist down because I leave the curtain partially open. These are the things people don’t tell you about having a kid: that you will seldom ever take a shower in 100% privacy for a year.

  6. Loved this. Nickelodean Gak was probably my favorite line as well. Perfect description. PS–My daughter has a pair of Toms and a pair of Uggs, and I have never had either. But her godmother is quite sylish and loves to see her in them.

    1. She’s got a pretty awesome godmother. Too bad we’re not Catholic and C will have to rely on the adoration of her grandmothers to get awesome swag.

  7. I had a very odd encounter with a baby yesterday that might be classified as absurd. I was pounding the pavement en route to the subway station. She was sitting upright in her stroller, with a vise-like grip on the padded bar in the front. What was absurd was that she was burning a hole into my head she was staring at me with such fierce intensity. It’s not everyday that I can say that someone barely one years old is intimidating, but if it turns out that this kid was the daughter of Rosemary’s Baby, I wouldn’t argue with that. She was one ferociously serious tot.

    1. HA! C hasn’t gotten to the point where she gets insanely focused on things yet, but I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s like they are trying to make you levitate or something. It’s creepy. If any adult ever did the same thing we’d classify them as mental cases.

      1. EXACTLY! The kid was cute, but still, creepy.

  8. I tried to comment on this when I was waiting for Little One to get out of school, but my phone ate it. I thought yesterday’s phone eating incident was a fluke, but it’s official. My phone is a comment eater. I was going to say babies are ludicrous, and yours is utterly adorable.

    1. I think some comments go to the realm of missing socks to forevermore be wondered after. Thanks for pressing on, though. Your complement is indeed appreciated.

  9. bellissimom · · Reply

    I totally agree that they are absurd. My mom & I had a very similar conversation yesterday in which we discussed how people would react to a grown up who does all the things a baby does. You would have no friends if you threw up all over people, farted in public & crapped your pants whenever you pleaded. But our babies do these things & we cannot get over how cute they are!

    1. I know. What awesome lives babies have! I wish I could scream bloody murder and pretty much immediately get exactly what I wanted.

  10. Love this post – yes, they are completey absurd ~ but they’re cute when they lie around like little meatloaves.
    Once she reaches 7 – Mad Men will come right back into your life :)

    1. I am loving that you call babies meatloaves. I am going to add that to my lexicon, fo sho. I can’t wait until Mad Men re-enters our lives. The last time we watched it was the morning after she was born, right before they wheeled her into my hospital room for the day. Have to admit it was a pretty amazing trade-off, but still I miss me some Don Draper.

      1. Plenty of time to catch up on pop culture. Babies are doing such funny things – but you can’t DVR them as well as Mad Men!

        1. Well said, my friend. Well said.

  11. You are of course right that it’s a damn good thing they’re cute. Cuteness is the sole reason the species has survived so many millions of years. Without cuteness, we wouldn’t have made it to the end of the first week. And while you’re also right that babies are absurd, what struck me as absurd in my new state of motherhood was how–since babies intrinsically CAN’T be absurd, because they are, you know, quite necessary–everything ELSE is so absurd. Like doing dishes, and vacuuming, and showering, and cutting our toenails–when we are also trying to care for a baby, which is, in fact, the most exhausting and wonderful thing in the world.

    I fantasize about a matriarchal society where mothers go to work all day (read, 8-5, perhaps 8-7 on a busy day) and what do they do? They mother! They do nothing else (well, maybe chat around the water cooler with their co-mothers). (And go to the bathroom by themselves, and take an hour for a healthy sit-down lunch.) And then they come home and, you know, watch MadMen, and perhaps work on their golf swing, and write their blogs in quiet leisure over a martini, and then eat the dinner that was procured and prepared for them while enjoying the company of their children, who are being wiped up and refereed by a third party, and then tucking in the wee tots with a loving, “I’ll see tomorrow morning, eight o’clock!”

    (Is that so absurd?)

    1. I freaking love that idea. It is, admittedly, a bit absurd but that doesn’t mean we can’t fantasize about it, right? I seem to have left out of the post how absurdly sublime babies are too. They get a lot of bad press, and yes they are tiring, but they make you so happy it’s kind of ridiculous.

  12. Yeah, that’s a cute baby. I would probably find myself doing ridiculous activities to see that baby smiles, says the mom who regularly runs around the couch 30-40 times yelling “gitchyou gitchyou gitchyou.”

    1. Thanks. We think she’s pretty cute too. We’ll do pretty much anything to get a smile a from her.

  13. Great post Emily! Babies are ridiculous! They’re like martians, fixated on your every move. It’s a little trippy when you think about how responsible you are for that breathing, eating, pooping, smiling thing you call your baby. By the way, your little Miss C is quite a looker, as I predicted. Just saying…

    1. Thanks! We are pretty impressed with the little gal we cooked up; she’s adorable. I don’t like the think about how responsible I am for this little girl. I’m afraid I’ll publicize it too much, and then the “stork” will come and take her back knowing that we bit off way more than we could chew when we had her.

  14. “The lunacy all begins with labor. You have a little person inside of you, but it can’t fit anymore, so you have to push it out. YOU HAVE TO PUSH A PERSON OUT OF YOUR LADY BITS. It’s nightmarish and science-fictioney, but it’s standard protocol. It’s how things work, and that’s absurd to me.”

    I was thinking about this yesterday. Why are women so easily offended? Giving birth seems like the most offensive thing imaginable. A future doctor, garbage man, school teacher, or whatever other jobs exist are coming out of the one part of your body you are not allowed to show in public. Absurd is definetely the word.

    1. Giving birth is both the most wonderful and the most humbling thing you can do. I don’t know why any woman who’s given birth would be offended by anything. You’re naked in front of a bunch of strangers when you’re giving birth, and then if you nurse then you’re topless half the time. TMI, I know, but the point is that all your dignity is stripped from you if you’re not prepared for it.

      1. Yeah, I used to be extremely modest before giving birth before what was seemed like an entire hospital football team. That many people looking at that area in that state tends to make one cast modesty to the wind.

  15. This post is hilarious and loving really in the way that only you do best. Such a grt read. Thank u. Xo sm

    1. Thanks, Moms! You are the best.

  16. Don’t forget that their head is 1/3 the size of their body. And if they were to keep growing at the same rate as the first 3 months, they’d be the size of Jupiter. Whaaaaat.

    I, too, am amazed by the absurdity of a HUMAN that is alive inside of me. And I put her there.

    1. I think about that all the time! I’m amazed she can hold her head up at all. It would be like us having two full-sized watermelons on top. Oomph.

  17. You are so right. Babies are not engineered well at all! (Even though they’re adorable and we can’t resist them.) I’d say the blueprint for human reproduction falls under the category of “unintelligent design.”

    1. The only good thing about the engineering is that you can’t really see what’s going on down there when your in labor. *Shudder.*

  18. I love that she eta so excited about the cherry flavoured gel. That is actually mental.

    1. I know! I told her doctor about it and she wasn’t surprised at all. It’s really sweet tasting.

  19. I love that she gets so excited about the cherry flavoured gel. That is actually mental.

  20. I’m so tired when I read this I swear you said the baby came out with two heads.
    Phew what a relief she only has one.

  21. That is so true, and funny. It’s cool that you can chronicle this on a blog. My kids are somehow 12 and 8 now. Memories get fuzzy. Crank the baby swing, sleep, crank the swing, sleep, etc. My daughters also had insane amounts of clothes, especially the first one. I would change her clothes repeatedly while she slept in her booster chair and snap photos. I’ve told a lot of people that weird story. I might have told you.

    That clown contest made me whoozy. Or the sinuses, maybe. And now we need someone to design a badge for us winners. I have some artistic skill (which you can tell if you saw my Le Clown drawing, ha) but computer skills are lacking. I can’t get my own avatar to work most of the time. Anyhoo, it was fun, wasn’t it?

  22. I love and agree with this whole post. Classic.

    1. Haha, thanks, Ashley.

  23. Yet another voice added to the chorus that the ridiculousness of babies is part of their charm!

  24. […] thank you for speaking up against my assertion that babies are absurd. My blog would be nothing if it weren’t for folks like you who like to challenge my […]

  25. There’s NEVER a dull moment when you havwe a baby…

    1. A “dull moment”? You appear to be speaking English but I’m not familiar with this concept.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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