By Fantine Hathaway
I can say that because I’ve been a baby before, a baby who once threw an Epson PhotoPC 500 digital camera at a wall because I had zero empathy for the fiscal damage it would cost my parents. I have grown enough to understand that what I did was wrong, and definitely contributed to their subsequent divorce.
On public transit, babies will stare at you, and dissect every part of you. They allegedly have no concept of acne, but they will stare with the intensity of a med student contemplating dermatology. And then laugh, and then shift back to glaring instantly. Their biting cackles will etch themselves eternally onto your id, despite the best efforts of their caregivers to distract them. As baby owners, they comprehend first-hand, that, the gazes of their spawn are adamant reminders that they’re not where they’re supposed to be as parents. But really, who can blame them?
Babies decide if you’re a who, or if you’re a them. I’d rather be mauled by a pit bull than deal with these colicky environmental disasters.
If you try to reprimand babies, they’ll just cry until you’re forced to internalize their trauma alongside your own. It doesn’t matter that they threw up over your now-vintage flannel shirt. It doesn’t even matter if they’re caught shoplifting Hubba Bubba while you were trying to purchase diapers at the bodega and you, alone, had to settle their bill.
Now, the little tyke is now supposedly hungry, tired, up to their thighs in feces— and now you just have to Doogie Howser your way into unpacking what that whole issue is. They instigated the drama, and now you’re just, there, trying to calm them down. It’s never the other way around, and that’s gaslighting to a T.
Look, babies are “cute” and all, but there comes a time when problematic behaviour absolutely needs to be addressed. #NotAllBabies, obviously, but almost all babies. We can’t coddle those who made it out of the womb because they are people now, and people deserve to be called out for their toxic existence.