Monday, 19 June 2017

Hi, Baby!

We've all seen them. We all know them. Some of us have given birth to them.

The Hi Baby.

I'm not sure where we heard or saw it, but years ago, Jason and I heard the expression, and it's so right, so perfect, that it has since become a family code phrase (insert disclaimer re: intellectual property and credit for whatever comedian coined it here).

Very few babies are born adorable. Most, in fact, are downright funny looking. Their heads are misshapen, they have strange bruises and lesions and skin afflictions, and in general, wouldn't pass muster in Hollywood. And some? Some are like a bag of snakes.

These are the Hi Babies.

Please, please, don't get all upset and offended and write me and tell me I'm a bad person who hates children... I don't. I'm referring to natural childhood grostequery, not genuine physical deformities, illnesses, or conditions visible to the naked eye. (Incidentally, when meeting THIS baby, arrive with dinner, a bottle (or 3) of wine, and lots of time to congratulate/listen/babysit/do laundry/rail at the universe/get the hell out/hug. If you can't arrive with all that, be a better person).

ANYWAY. This is how nature works- it's all checks and balances. At some point in your life, you will not be the best looking kid in your class. But that's ok. Maybe you're gorgeous in high school, or find the cure for cancer in your 40s, or are a musical prodigy. Where one door is shut (sometimes with unnecessarily excessive force directly in the facial area), another opens. I'm speaking from experience. I myself have both, at varying times, been, and spawned, a Hi Baby. 

Usually, it's temporary. We fill out with baby fat, skulls realign, cheeks get all pinchable, and we learn how to wrap every adult in a 15 foot radius around our little fingers. Most Hi Babies are only Hi Babies for a very short period of time, but be warned, oh, childless masses, if you have to introduce your kid to the world at large in the middle of it, you'll hear it

Hi babies are the ones who are SO unfortunate looking that rather than exclaim "What gorgeous eyes!" "What a stunning smile!" "What gorgeous skin!" the ONLY response you can come up with upon gazing upon them for the first time is...

(Fortissimo, high C# Major)

"HIIIII, baby!!!"

Years ago, we were at a company Christmas party, and as myself, Jason, Isaiah and Liz left our hotel room with 17 day old Squid (the party was at the Banff Springs- not even childbirth could keep me from going), we ran into an engineer I worked with, accompanied by his wife and 1- month old youngest daughter.

This guy, although pompous and cocky to the extreme, was gorgeous. He was one of those people you look at just cause they're pretty- like a sunset, or a dark haired, perfectly sculpted rainbow. His wife (as well as being infinitely more pleasant), was also beautiful. That's why it was such a shock when we admired each other's new babies, and discovered to our dismay that they had given birth to the Toxic Avenger. 

I smiled at the infant, and without even thinking, chirped,

"HIIIII, baby!!!"

And Jason, at the same time, said the only thing worse.

"What a PRETTY dress!"

We realized it the minute it left our mouths, and for the following 3 minute conversation, shaking with barely restrained laughter, not a soul in my family could look at any of the others. We finally turned away, with goodbyes and commitments to chat later, walked quietly back into our suite, and proceeded to dissolve into puddles of silent hysteria. Not at the baby, you understand, but at the realisation that it's an actual, proven phenomenon.

You can laugh. It's ok. Don't act like you're better than this. It's a spontaneous reflex, I swear to God. No one wants to be the one to tell someone that the tiny miracle sprung forth from their loins, this blessing from God, the answer to all their prayers, ****THEIR CHILD**** actually makes a pretty good looking monkey. It's a protective reflex, like when Jason can't hear me when I ask if the pants make me look fat. It's better for all of us, trust me.

And if it makes you feel any better, I will pay for it. When I finally get to my special reserved chair in hell, with my very own engraved nameplate, I'm reasonably sure the face Beezelbub will return to me for the rest of eternity is this one:

My mother loved it, I suppose.