The Shocker


When Ellie was born I prepared myself for the worst. I had just spent nine very long months praying that she wouldn't come out all creepy looking, like every single other newborn on the planet. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought there might be a chance she would escape the inevitable.

Because I think it's a form of sac religion to diss your own child I will just say that she has grown into the cutest baby that has ever toddled the Earth.

But it wasn't always that way.

Ok people, I'm going to go ahead and say what everyone else in the world is thinking but too afraid to say out loud.

Newborn babies are creepy looking.

I mean, at least for the first month or two, or in some rare cases three, really freaking creepy looking.

Yes, even yours that everyone told you was the most adorable baby they'd ever seen. I guarantee they were thinking one of two things:

1. Thank God my baby didn't look like that
2. Please God don't let my baby look like that

Newborn babies looking creepy is common knowledge. Everyone knows it, even if they won't ever admit it. So I am always baffled when people choose to commemorate it with a photo session and actually pay for professional documentation of the creepiness.

I get that a lot of hospitals take a snap or two of the baby in the bassinet once it's born, so thoughtfully illuminated by feature flattering fluorescent lights that highlight every piece of white stuff still stuck to their face. But in addition to resembling an orange that's just been peeled these babies all have the same startled expression, like there's a nurse crouched under the bassinet giving them The Shocker the moment before the photog snaps the camera.

Oh, and if you have to ask what The Shocker is, I don't want you reading this blog anymore.

You might even buy a little wallet size because someday you'll enjoy looking back and thanking sweet Jesus that the hideous thing that was just expelled from your loins, that you spent 9 months praying would not come out hideous looking, actually turned out somewhat normal looking.

But what I really don't understand is when parents actually pay a significant amount of money to have a real photographer come and take photos of their creepy looking newborn baby. Then the photographers get all creative and tape a branch to the sleeping baby's head and take a picture of him in a flower pot in the middle of a random field raining rose petals. I mean, who's going to believe that your baby actually sprouted from a flower pot? Looking through those pictures is like watching The Wizard of Oz on an acid trip.

I think that sun flower has a baby face and it's looking at me! Kill it!

While these flower pot in a field photos are pretty bad, there is one thing that can make newborn photos much worse.

I'm talking about an abomination of humanity and all that is holy. Something so bad that it defies logic on all levels causing a once sane mind to drown in a sea of confused repulsion.

The creepy newborn with the naked parents photo.

I mean, I don't know if these photos are even legal in the United States. There I am, innocently browsing through my friend's borderline tolerable newborn slide show when there it is. It jumps out of nowhere, without warning.

A topless photo of my friend with the baby resting on his hairy muffin top inappropriately choreographed to a Sarah McLaughlin song. All those moles and freckles brought to life in high definition... the patch of cellulite that Photoshop forgot...

I don't even have time to react before I projectile vomit all over my keyboard. And then the image is burned into my head for days, sometimes weeks, afterward until my subconscious has adequate time to create an alternate personality named Joan to help take the pain away.

There is one exception I will give to the newborn photos - the birth announcement. Birth announcements were created to satisfy the morbid curiosity of your friends and family as to exactly how creepy your baby is. It also tells everyone that "hey, I know my baby is creepy, just like yours. But we love her enough to put it on paper and send you a picture anyway."

And babies should thank god for that unconditional love. Without it we may not stick around to see what they'll look like in a few months.


Anonymous said...

Why didn't you tell me this before I spent a fortune on my babys pictures...thanks a lot Sis.... this information would of been useful to me YESTERDAY!!!!

Hannah said...

I know - sorry - that's why I was cracking up when you told me that you got his pictures taken today. Of course I mean every baby EXCEPT yours...