I will not kiss your baby

Originally posted 11.16.2006

I recently held a baby, which is significant because scholars believe it to be the first time I cradled an infant since 1992. And in 1992, I was virtually a baby myself.

Anyway, I’m not against the concept of babies. I hope to generate a couple myself one day (just not today, or tomorrow, or next year). I don’t mind babies, necessarily, although the constant crapping is bothersome. But here’s the deal:

Holding a baby terrifies me. What if I fumble it? What if I don’t hold it right and deform its head or something? Babies have very maleable heads, you know. And, God forbid, what if I drop it? How would I feel then, having just killed someone’s child?

Sometimes, a buddy will hand you his car keys. The last thing you want to do is wreck someone else’s car. And the frightening thing is that it could happen and not even be your fault. You could easily ruin somebody’s month with one slip up.

Holding a baby is like that, only 1,000 times worse.

I’ve just had far too many experiences with young children in which I thought I was being the good older person and harmlessly playing with a little kid until, without warning, something I’ve done causes the kid to bust into tears and ruin the next 25 minutes for everyone involved. People are looking at me like, “What it holy hell did you just do? All you had to do was play peek-a-boo. How do you screw that up?” And all I can do is make the Peyton Manning Face and turn my palms upward in befuddlement.

Gloriously, my last infant episode ended without tears (or crap). I think I’ve reached my quota for the next 14  years.


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