Do you ever look at your kid and think “holy shit, this kid is so fucking cute I wanna bite her freaking arm off?”
I do. Often.
Okay, I’m not going to bite her arm off. But I might nibble on it a little.
I mean, a lot of kids are cute. There are cutiepies everywhere you go, just walking around, going about their business and stuff, looking all kinds of adorable like they don’t even know it.
But there is just SOMETHING about your own kid. Something besides the obvious fact that you made him and so therefore he’s just as awesome as you are. Something about his mushy little face, and tiny little feet, and squishy little nose, and soft little skin, and rosy little cheeks, and sweet little smile. Something so insanely endearing that it kind of makes your head want to explode.
99% of you without children are probably gagging right now, and that’s totally cool. I would be, too. Before I popped out a few of these cute little fuckers myself, I wasn’t exactly a kid person. Hell, I’m still not what you would call a “kid person” (hence my use of the word “fuckers”). I’m actually more of a “MY kid person,” if you know what I mean.
It seems like there’s a switch that flips into the “on” position after you give birth for the first time, one that turns you into this big softy and reduces you to a pile of mush every time you look at your own kid. Like there’s this giant ray of sunlight beaming down upon your child wherever she goes, emitting hypnotic waves of yummy adorableness and sweet perfection at all times, and you can’t help but be drawn in by it. I bet you didn’t even know you could have such delicious feelings of pride and love and warmth toward another human being before you had a kid. And now it’s basically out of control.
What about when your kid says something funny? It isn’t just funny, or cute, or even just clever. It’s HILARIOUS! Your child is a comedic GENIUS! Watch out, Jimmy Fallon. Your Tonight Show replacement has been born, and is ready to step in at any time.
For example, yesterday my son gets home from school and my daughter runs up to give him a huge hug like she does every day (which, by the way, is fucking cuteness OVERLOAD times two, all by itself). My son stops her in her tracks and goes, “Wait! Just let me take off my shoes and my coat and STAY A WHILE first!”
I died laughing. Then I told my husband, who also cracked up quite a bit.
Not exactly hilarious, right? I mean, cute. Sweet, smile-worthy. But I was over there acting like my kid just won Last Comic Standing.
I guess that’s just how it is once you’re a parent. It’s scientific, actually – like a Darwinian thing. It’s NATURE. You are just naturally meant to find your children so charming and wonderful that you will have to resist the urge to choke them every time you trip over a rogue matchbox car or find permanent marker stains on your couch cushions.
Don’t get me wrong, though. There are times when my kids’ cuteness is the furthest thing from my mind. Times when I’m literally banging my head against the wall in frustration. I mean, there’s NOTHING cute about my daughter when she’s mid-tantrum, her face all mangled up in an angry scowl, tears and snot pouring out everywhere, and she’s sobbing and throwing food and smacking the living crap out of me because I wouldn’t let her watch Team Umizoomi during dinnertime. And I’m over there fumbling with the cap to the Xanax when she suddenly stops crying, giggles, and starts singing her favorite song “I don’t care, I love it!” in her tiny voice… And we all just lose it, erupting into fits of hysterical laughter.
True, I laugh partially out of relief that she finally shut the hell up, but also because her little squeaky voice is so cute that I can’t even take it.
I swear, these kids make me bipolar.
And how about when they’re sleeping? There is no selective amnesia like a mother gazing adoringly upon her soundly sleeping child. Your kid could have just thrown your brand new iPhone in the toilet, spilled fingerpaint on the rug, and fed a chocolate bar to the dog all in the same night– but once the little darling is peacefully slumbering away, it’s like the gates of heaven have opened up and God himself has appeared to absolve the child of any wrongdoing.
Because all sleeping children are perfect angels. Everyone knows that.
But your kid doesn’t have to be asleep to be your little angel. Everyone knows that too. They are ALWAYS your little angels. Sure they might drive you to drink, or occasionally sob uncontrollably, and maybe even contemplate a bridge-jump every now and then.
But none of that matters when you are really looking at them. Because there’s something so very beautiful that happens every time you take in your child’s sweet, innocent face. Something that takes all the difficulties of being a parent away for a moment. Something that inevitably makes every exasperating minute totally….. worth it.