Thursday, October 20, 2005

on babiez.

Has anyone ever googled for images of babies?

I have. I think they're adorable.

What could this mean?

That, mm, I think they're adorable. I feel pleasantly happy for parents, grandparents and sundry other relations that walk around with the wee bairns when I see them out on the roads. I like cooing and making faces at kids that come my way. One of the only factors that could distract me from a book in long years of commuting via the 10:08 Churchgate local to college was the presence of a baby in the next seat.

Babies have big eyes and are cuddly and sometimes very trusting. Upto a certain point they're all indistinguishable from each other. Kohl-wreathed eyes or especially eye-catching couture aside, there's not much to distinguish Bunty from Bubbly for the untrained eye.

Often they can be devils. With every baby I've seen throw a tantrum or act like a general idiot, my respect for human innocence drops a notch. (Think about that before you beat up Mummy for being otherwise occupied, Munna.) I like cuddling them, their lack of exretory control and propensity to periodically yell themselves a new pair of lungs notwithstanding. I, at least, am more tolerant of human folly than Munna. (Yay!)

All this is as long as as I can put them back at the end of the day. My roommate hates babies with a virulence we usually reserve for unscrupulous politicians. I don't. They irritate me sometimes, and I don't consider it a social duty to actually have one unless I want to, but on the whole I like them. They're cute and fun to hang out with. And that's what I like about them. Not anything they imply or make possible or anything. That's a blatantly ageist attitude. [/ ideological stance]

(I have a theory about the Romantic worship of childhood. Most of those guys had the misfortune to lose their own offspring or see close friends undergo the same trauma. Ergo, regret and the melting mood ensued, without the benefit of the fatalism that allowed earlier generations to take infant mortality in their stride.)

It just throws me slightly off-balance when I see a lot of (but not all) people around me take a firm pro/anti stance against childhood. I can't. When my mother loves on babies and how important they are for a family and a couple and society and all that, I see her point of view in part. But I agree with the roommate too, because I do believe our position as urban women and human beings is constantly changing and changeable and thus allows us to take the pressure of baby-making off ourselves. (Even if other people leave it on.)

And then, they really are cute.

But. I guess what I'm trying to say is that having babies isn't a logical choice for life anymore - in fact it seems like not having them makes rather more sense.

Now, what's all this about a biological clock?

To wrap up the ramble, I'd like to direct everyone to this family's website. They're the people who've had sixteen kids so far and are willing to have more if God supplies them with the same. Yeah. I know. And while I can understand the motives of the man, who apparently is running for public office and has insanely bad hair, the woman flummoxes me. I mean, does living in the world's most developed country set back your primitive impulse to optimise your resources and have as few children as possible this far? The mind boggles. And as for those children - never mind. Read Mark Morford's rant in the San Francisco Gate, if you can stand his howling fundie-liberal rhetoric and pointedly skewed opinion.

current musix: simon and garfunkel - at the zoo


  1. I think I have an attitude toward children that's rather similar to yours. Like you, I live with some very anti-children-type people. And heaven knows that in recent years I've seen more than enough children whose parents I wanted to box upside the head because they're incapable of controlling their miscreants. That said, I would like to have a family at some point, but not at the risk of losing my career. (Otherwise, why am I suffering through the stress of my studies?)

    As for the Duggars, I was horrified to discover that their latest child was born at the hospital in the town where I grew up. Freaky, freaky, freaky.

  2. I'm not quite sure how I feel about eventually having one of my own - a direct offshoot of not being such a kid person anyway. I dont find them particularly cute, and I coo my heart out at pups, but I never really get the heart-tug to do it to a kid.

    But apparently my phamilee is vaguely amused by my lack of cootchie-cooing. My dad apparently couldnt stand any till he acquired one of his own. Er. Me. ;)

  3. I love babies! I want some of my own only on the condition that i should be allowed to lock them up in the bathroom till they quit hollering...

    Nice post, btw...:)

  4. @ nicole: oh, baby, word. last night my restaurant table was right next to a small kiddie birthday bash. i spent most of my time wondering how switched off and clueless those mothers (all of whom were under thirty and glassy-eyed with ennui) could possibly be. i'm all for kickass parents - like my own mommy - but. dude.

    @sv: your father's turn-around is very understandable! you're so positively adorable now, i can't imagine what you must have been like as a little speck of a baby. :D

    *pinches your pink cheeks*


    @kate: once again, almas comes to mind. (i miss that girl.) "of course i want children," she told me once. "someone needs to bear the brunt of my screwed-up ness."

    and i completely forgot to quote philip larkin. they f..k you up, your mum and dad/they may not mean to, but they do/they fill you up with all their faults/and add soem extra, just for you.