Tuesday, 17 April 2012

"Promise you'll tell me if my baby is ugly"

I had a funny conversation the other day with a friend who is planning to start having children in the near future. She shared with me a topic of concern that I’m sure many people can relate to, but tend to not talk about. She was worried that she might give birth to an ugly baby. Obviously getting this off her chest warranted the next question, which I’m certain has been asked by many soon to be mothers in the company of their most trusted friends: “You’ll tell me if my baby is ugly, right?”

While every parent holds the health of their unborn baby paramount to everything else; until they see that sweet little face for the first time, many are worried that maybe they will give birth to a mutant. Does that make them a bad person? Of course not. Vain? Not at all. I think, having worried about the same silly thing when pregnant with both of my children, that you just want them to be “normal”- for their sake.  Remembering how awful and mean kids can be (especially if you were the victim of bullying at some point in your life), can make one overly anxious about whether or not their children will experience the same angst. I think parents just want to protect their kids from anything which might hurt them, so worrying about their physical appearance before actually meeting them all comes down to the hope that they won’t stand out for the wrong reasons.

Unfortunately kids tend not to discriminate when choosing who to ridicule. If in someone's opinion they're too pretty, too tall, too short, too smart, too energetic, too anything; they may, at some point, be a casualty of playground bullying. All you can hope for as your children go off to school each day is that the teachers are paying attention and taking action. Also that you’ll have the self-control to side with your better judgement and not punch an eight year old in the face if they've made your perfect little son or daughter cry; as that might land you in jail. I suppose threatening them, unfortunately, may have the same ramifications. It's doubtful that the police, as well as the parents of that little jerk, will be in agreement with your rationale for telling a child that you will "find them" if they continue harrassing your son or daugther. That was only partially a joke.

Just while we’re on this subject, if your child is a bully (and this is something all parents should be on the lookout for), it’s up to you to do something about it. It might come down to involving a third party who is qualified to address their inner psyche; but either way, if you’re not taking the steps to correct it, you are most definitely part of the problem.

Also, in my experience, it seems the characteristics of a bully don't fade with time. I can think of a few adults who still act like that mean little brat on the playground.

So if your child is a bully and you don’t intervene by teaching them how to properly conduct themselves, it might result in a problem that follows them into adulthood, and will likely affect everything from their relationships to their career. Sorry to be so direct, but bullying is a bit of a sore-spot for me (you guessed it; I was picked on quite a bit throughout the years). I digress.

Back to the topic of ugly babies and what an oxymoron that notion is. I can’t help but wonder if there is such a thing. Of course I’ve seen my share of questionably cute babies which yes, I’m ashamed to say have generated a private little snicker here and there– but that doesn’t make them ugly. 

So, regarding the question asked by ‘best friends’ everywhere about whether or not you will be honest and tell them “yes your baby is ugly” – for me, the answer will always be “no; he/she is perfect”.

Usually this question is followed up by the half-joking declaration that they will already know if their baby is ugly so, consequently, they’ll know if I’m lying. I used to think the same thing and, hence the worry, was certain that I would be able to recognize whether or not my qualms of giving birth to an unsightly creature had come true. Having had two children, I can tell you this concept is nothing but a load of Bulls**t! I fell so unbelievably in love with my babies the second they entered the world that even if they were born with antlers and a snout, I would ever so proudly share their perfect little faces with the world. Not only that, I would secretly feel bad for everyone who didn’t have children as beautiful as my own.

 It’s the way we’re programmed; hence the expression “a face only a mother could love”. We are incapable of recognizing a flaw within our own babies because, to us, they truly are perfect. That’s why whenever that friend, with the furrowed brow and concerned tone makes me swear that I will tell them if they happen to give birth to an “ugly baby”, I tell them they are ridiculous and recite the essence of this blog entry. It’s just not possible and, despite the fact that you think you’ll “just know”, trust me; you won’t.

Maybe worrying about this ludicrous topic it’s a way to defer anxiety from something as important as their health because, deep down, I think that’s what can be consuming. To joke lightly about the physical appearance of what will certainly be the most beautiful person you have ever seen, keeps you from spending too much time worrying about something serious. I can appreciate that because, on top of hormones, the last thing you need is to be brought down by the fear and apprehension of a real issue.

So with all of that said; no, I will not tell you if you have an ugly baby. I will agree with you that they are gorgeous, and will vote for them in the “world’s cutest baby contest” because, along side with my kids, they are right up there with the world’s cutest babies. If you’re pregnant, or hope to soon be pregnant, please don’t worry about what your baby will look like. I promise that you couldn’t, even in your wildest dreams, imagine anything so incredibly perfect.

No comments:

Post a Comment