Busting the Baby Boom

Posted on May 2, 2012


I like kids but I don’t like babies. Babies have always struck me as insincere, like cats. Babies and cats are both cute but you get the feeling the cuteness is all an act to trick you into feeding them and overlooking their ruining of leather furniture.

When a friend visits our house with a new baby and my wife asks if I want to have a turn holding it, I say no, for moral reasons.

I have a moral objection to babies being cute. On the list of reasons people have kids, I suspect baby cuteness is probably number one, and I think that’s a troubling foundation for creating a person.

Don’t we generally agree you’re not supposed to marry someone solely for their looks. Or at least you’re not supposed to admit you married someone solely for their looks (I’m looking in your direction Mrs. Greatsby). So why do we have babies because of their looks?

When friends say they’re having kids or want to have kids, I’m surprised how few people have a real reason. They shrug and say, “I’ve just always known I’ve wanted kids. I just love kids. They’re so cute.” Sorry, but if you replaced ‘kids’ with ‘dogs’ in that sentence and gave that answer at an animal shelter, you would not be going home with a puppy. Why is it harder to adopt an unwanted mutt than it is to have a baby?

In addition to the cuteness factor, here’s a list of other unacceptable reasons for having a baby:

To give you and your partner something new to talk about when your relationship grows stale. Why not try taking an Indian food cooking class or planning a heist together?

To have someone to validate your life and who can be guilt-tripped into accomplishing all the things you didn’t accomplish. Here’s the problem: If you bring a kid into the world as your way of making a difference, chances are good you’ll just create a person who will also view creating a person as their way of making a difference in the world. The cycle of passing-the-buck-difference-making has to end.

To have someone who will always laugh at your jokes…or else!

To expand your cupboard of potential excuses for weaseling out of things. I’ve learned I can only claim my wife is hung-over so many times before friends stage an intervention. It helps to add some variety like a child’s head lice or chicken pox.

To enjoy a live-in technology expert who understands today’s technology and can fix all the gadgets you don’t understand.

As a way to end your sister-in-law’s pushy invitations to her kids’ dance recitals. You know she’ll stop insisting you come once you have kids with their own dance recitals and she’d have to return the favor.

Someone to avenge you in case you’re murdered by the son of the man you murdered as revenge for his murdering your dad as revenge for your dad killing his dad as revenge for his dad killing your grandpa who was killed by his grandpa, not for revenge but rather because he cheated at a card game played to determine which of the two men hated revenge more.

Have I forgotten anything?

Posted in: Family