An unscientific, but very thought provoking survey finds that a whole lot of parents secretly think their baby is ugly.
The Daily Mail tells us that the website PromotionalCodes.org.uk polled its users and found that 18 percent of new parents admit to this.
Raise of hands, please -- who is surprised that so many parents have noticed?
Because, let’s face it, most babies are ugly. Or, more precisely, few are Gerber-ad beautiful. All newborns look like Winston Churchill, the quip goes. Unless they look like E.T. Or Gandhi. And where do you think the term “a face only a mother could love” is rooted? In the reality that the journey from womb to world tends to squish and elongate and mush baby features. And let’s not even get started on infant acne.
In spite of this (or maybe because of it) nature makes sure that we gaze upon these blob-like forms and fall in love. I sure did. When my oldest arrived I couldn’t help but see that he was the most beautiful baby in the world. A number of my friends gave birth at around the same time, and I have to say I felt sorry for them, because their children were so funny looking while mine was angelically stunning.
There was my high school buddy’s daughter with a head was so pointy that she looked like a prop in an SNL Conehead skit. And there were my college roommates' sons whose heads were far too big for their bodies and whose eyes were much too large for their heads and who slumped like the Village Drunkard when we placed them together for a photo at the age of three months.
I remember my confusion afterward when I looked at that photo and noticed that my own boy, on film, didn’t look exactly as he did in person. Actually, he looked a lot like those other two kids. The fault of the photograph, I assumed. Or the photographer. Frankly I am still a bit confused when his baby photos don’t match my memories.
My own mother proudly tells me that she saw me for what I was from the start. “Oh my she’s beautiful,” she quotes her sister as saying on meeting me for the first time.
“Oh no, she’s kind of funny looking but we love her anyway,” my mother is said to have replied.
And she did love me anyway. Which is the entire point. Nearly all babies are funny looking, except for the few who aren’t. Meaning, most parents (and, based on my own unscientific survey, grandparents) see a version of their baby that isn’t really there. Or, maybe, the one that really, magically, is.
According to the Promotional Codes survey, 82 percent of parents believed that “their new baby was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen.”
When you phrase it that way, he probably was.