Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guest Blogger Jack Is Back ~ Becoming a Grandparent Part I

Welcome back to Jack!  Many of you will remember Jack and his funny jokes and Sham WOW posts.  Jack was my high school Chem teacher and advisor extraordinaire.  We reconnected on Facebook and now I get to call him "Jack" without getting thrown out of class.  He has had a taste of bloggy power and has agreed to allow me to publish an essay he wrote on Becoming a Grandparent.   This Essay will be posted in Parts so be sure to check back for the full effect.  Enjoy....


Our oldest son and his lovely wife just had their first child, our first grandchild. In anticipation of the blessed event, these were the thoughts that dominated my mind: ugly babies, crying babies, peeing babies, fat babies, odd babies, alien babies, fussy babies, mean babies, and fat crying peeing babies. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve got to be straight with my readers. These thoughts happened because of my past experiences with The Babies of Others.

Please enjoy Part One: The Surprising Baby

Several years ago, family friends of ours had their first child. The husband was a handsome man; his wife was gorgeous. A few weeks after the doting new parents had brought the baby home they arranged an open house. My wife and I paid a visit to offer our heartfelt congratulations and make our introductions to the dear new female child.

While my wife chatted with family friends, I ventured to the baby’s room alone. This was an unwise move.

The baby’s room was decked out in all the latest infant amenities that the baby itself could not fully appreciate. A few people, various chunks of the immediate family, were draped around the ornate crib. They were chanting oohs and ahhs and coos and other bizarrely soothing noises.
I found an opening at one end of the crib, between two aged relatives. I peered over their shoulders; the relatives were of an age when people shrink and stoop over when they stand straight. I had a clear view of the wee occupant of the Baby Habitat 2000 (the name emblazoned on the crib). The wee one was swaddled in a few thousand tiny blankets and above it twirled a mobile of a beguilingly random assortment of exotic animals you would never want to meet face-to-face in the wild. And then I got my first full-on sighting of the newborn.

It was a monkey.

An ugly monkey. An ugly monkey other monkeys would probably shun. I planted a fist over my mouth and squinted at seeing this hideous little specimen. And directly across from me was the mom, beaming senselessly like only a new mother can.

I struggled with what to say. I knew what not to say, that being all the thoughts whipping around in my head. Wildly inappropriate remarks such as: “nice gargoyle, wait a while to take photos for the family album, it sure is a hairy thing, oh my goodness, what happened, where’s the real baby, holy smokes, do you people see what I see, yipes!”

But I had to say something, what with the little chimp’s human mother staring at me and occasionally dropping her adoring eyes on her child. I went with, “There sure are a lot of blankets. They’re nice blankets, but there are a lot of ‘em. Babies must get chilly easily. Wow, look at all those blankets.” The mom bought it or, more likely, she didn’t hear a word I said. Either way I was safe for the moment.

At least the monkey-baby was quiet.

Having made my point regarding the crib’s blanket tally, I excused myself, explaining that many others were waiting to greet the new baby.

Two attractive humans had produced the most profoundly unattractive small human I had ever seen. I gave some thought to the things my high school biology teacher tried to teach me about the way genetics worked. Lying bastard.

For months afterward, every time I watched a jungle movie , and the monkeys made their inevitable appearance, I thought about that poor, repugnant baby.

Next up, Part Two: The Astonishing Baby



8 Responses to "Guest Blogger Jack Is Back ~ Becoming a Grandparent Part I"
  1. Joy said...
    March 26, 2009 at 9:13 AM


    I agree. It's almost impossible for me to coo over a baby that looks like a hairless rat. And I'm a mom. But fortunately mine came out the opposite. I'm not just saying this because I'm biased. It was one of the first things I noticed about my daughter while I was in the hospital. I was relieved that my child didn't come out like that and I would feel proud of her baby pictures. I will say that most of the hairless rats do grow up and out of that stage, and in most cases become cute kids, but I'm feelin' ya!

  2. Ute said...
    March 26, 2009 at 8:36 PM

    LOL, I generally like babies. But in the rare occasion that I don't, I'll say something like, "Oh my word, would you look at those cute little hands. Oh, those cute little fingers... " *dramaticsigh*

    Yes, evil evil me. :)

  3. LadyStyx said...
    March 26, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    *chuckles* Oh what we do in an effort to be polite!

  4. Missy said...
    March 27, 2009 at 5:19 AM

    My husband and I have come across a few ugly babies in our parenthood. Luckily I have him to turn to and say, "man that is one ugly baby". And yes they usually grow out of it, but some of these infants give new meaning to "a face only a mother could love" KWIM?

  5. Jennifer said...
    March 28, 2009 at 12:17 AM

    Jack, I completely agree. I lived in fear my last trimester that I would give birth to an ugly baby. Actually, I still live in fear of that happening, God forbid...

  6. Opus #6 said...
    March 28, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    You are safe saying the baby is precious. All babies are precious. No matter how they look....

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. I really appreciate it. I think some gals don't like my posts, but sometimes things have to be Said, if you kwim. ;-)

  7. Rebecca Anne said...
    March 28, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    LOL! My pat escape route is "Oh look how much hair they have!" Or, if I'm really put on the spot and the baby has no hair, I'll grab a tiny hand and remark how sweet and tiny and beautiful their skin is.I've never dove for blankets or surrounding items. I'll have to keep that in mind.
    This was funny and I can't wait to read about the next part!

  8. BookChook said...
    March 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    I love babies. I love the way they smell (most of the time!), the softness of their hair cuddled against my cheek, the tiny fingers, the way they laugh at my jokes (NO, it isn't just wind!)

    The unfortunate thing is, I've met some who don't like me. When I go into my doting itchy-kitchy routine, they look at me like I'm doggy doo. When I reach out for them, they open their mouths wide and scream for Momma.

    I've decided some babies just don't appreciate quality.


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