Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Like Babies

I don't have any children of my own, but I have always liked babies.

I'll tell you why. Babies have the same emotional moodiness we have, but where we cover up our moods with stupid rationalizations and hit-or-miss guesses about what's "really" bothering us, babies are honest. They just have moods.

A lot of times when grown-ups are unhappy, they're just unhappy; it's not like there's some big thing wrong that a cookie and a nap won't make better. But part of being grown up means having "reasons" for feeling bad. You can't just say, "Wah!" You have to say, "It's not fair!" And then you have to explain.

Not that there aren't things that are unfair. There are, and they're worth getting upset about. But often, people just feel bad, in an elementary way, for no reason at all. And it would be nice if, like babies, we could just say, "Wah! I feel bad." And instead of recommending that anyone who feels bad for no reason had better consult a psychiatrist and get a prescription for Prozac, we could just, you know, put them in a bouncy swing, or tuck them in for a nap with some Zweibacks.

It's weird, but most of the time when I hear and see babies crying, it doesn't really bother me. I mean as long as it's normal crying. Sometimes babies cry in that desperate way that is completely freaky and panic-inducing, and that really is upsetting.

But as long as it's normal crying, my basic reaction to crying babies isn't "Ugh, that baby is crying!" but rather, "Hi baby. Unhappy? Believe me, I know how you feel. Welcome to human life."

Toddlers, not so much. Because you know what toddlers are saying. "It's not fair!"

It's the basic transition from baby to person. It's got some good aspects, but I'm not sure this is one of them.


Daniel said...

I too love the ways that babies just let it all out. I guess that the way I think about the grown up unhappiness is that it is often the result of our NOT just letting ourselves have our emotions, the way that babies do, but feeling too uncomfortable by them, denying them, or feeling some other related emotion that is easier to feel instead (e.g. guilt instead of anger).

Go babies!

Noko Marie said...

I totally agree. I also love the way babies shift from feeling bad to feeling fine, with none of the embarrassment grownups have. It's just, "Oh, yeah, toy, fun, I am happy now!"

The Secretary said...

Where is Captain Colossal?

Noko Marie said...

Hi Secretary, I'm not actually sure what the Captain's plans are with respect to C and C.

Hiatus, sabbatical, whatever, we will let you know as soon as we have more information.