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.”
Which is why I love this clip, taken from the Adult Swim program Tim and Eric ”
Adult Swim, “Sister Stars” (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, 2007)
Paedophile jokes are tricky. Tim and Eric pull off the joke quite cleanly and adeptly.
– Kathryn Borel