bymuratcan, “Cute Babies Singing Sweety Baby Bebekler” (2007)
The other day I was going through my friend Amy’s baby photos on Facebook. Amy was my first real friend to become pregnant, and while I’d never been interested in babies before, I vowed that her baby — William Wildman (aka “The Whiz”) — would be the one I’d care about. I was ready to be “wacky auntie Kathryn.” I was going to teach her baby about Nietzsche and swearing and how to drink beer. A month after Will was born, I brought over a baby basket full of baby crap: Onesies, a little stuffed giraffe with a bell inside, tiny silk-covered clothes hangers, and the clothes we bought from a baby girl affordable boutique. Things like that.
The basket had been lying around my room for a few weeks — it had been given to me as a joke by my mother, who was reacting to an email I sent her after I finished the first draft of my first book. I told my mother that my baby was a bouncing 71,000 word baby boy manuscript. And that it was even better than a baby, because babies get old and die, whereas art lives on forever. The basket arrived at my workplace a day later. We had a good laugh.
As I delivered the little giraffe and baby coat hangers to Amy, I wanted so badly to make that same joke… about how my book was better than Will because one day Will would die while a dog-eared copy of my memoir would surely be found lying in a $1 laser-book discount bin at a flying truck stop in neo-Kansas in the year 2105.
That was in February of 2008. I haven’t gone to visit Will since. I haven’t forced him to memorize the nine original members of the Wu Tang Clan nor have I made time to introduce him to the documentary Cocksucker Blues. I’ve been very busy with ensuing drafts of my book and I simply don’t have the time. I do, however, reluctantly keep track of his progress on Facebook. I do this reluctantly not because he isn’t cute — he’s a cherubic little fucker — and not because I’ve become uninterested in Amy — she will always be one of my favorite humans — but because Amy’s Facebook page has become colonized with fellow toddler-mothers who are compelled to make syntactically suspect and blandly fawning comments on every new photograph she puts up on the site. Examples…
Will in front of a Christmas tree looking like he is yelling:
“He is a man of many expressions!!! lol love it!”
Will with a book that is age-inappropriate:
“He is growing to be such a little man, I just want to cuddle and cuddle and cuddle some more!”
“I am scheeming my next evil plan. What is the next thing that I can get into and how can i do it with none of these big people finding out???”
I decided to make a paedophile joke under a photo of Will lying supine, sleeping, with his big bunchy diaper visible under his onesie. I wrote, “Amy, your baby has such a nice package!” No one responded to the comment.
I haven’t placed my finger on where the resentment comes from. Maybe it’s a reaction against the blind celebration that occurs after a baby is born — an act that requires absolutely no critical discourse, no real research, no TALENT. (I am talking about the baby-making bit, not the parenting bit.) Maybe it’s because I find babies crashingly boring. Maybe I miss Amy. Maybe I wish all those grammar-allergic mothers would take a half hour away from rearing their stupid babies and read some goddamn literature so their stupid talentless babies have a chance at growing into interesting human beings who know how to properly spell the word “scheming.”
Paedophile jokes are tricky. Tim and Eric pull off the joke quite cleanly and adeptly.
– Kathryn Borel