To "Baby Talk" Or Not To "Baby Talk"

Babies are cute, cuddly and wear adorable clothes, but other than that babies really have nothing else going for them. I don’t hate babies I just, honestly, don’t know how to act around them. Is it weird that I have absolutely no idea how to talk “baby talk”? When I find myself looking at or even holding a baby all I can think to say is, “Hey…what’s up? Cute onesie.” I envy women, or even men, who seem to carry on (one-sided) conversations with babies.

I dread when women ask me if I want to hold their child, like, is there a polite way to say “no” without absolutely offending her? It’s not that her baby is gross or ugly; it’s just that for me, holding babies is the most awkard and uncomfortable feeling. Is that normal? Are women (especially in their mid-20s) allowed to feel like this? I’m writing about this issue because I've felt this way at least twice this week and numerous other times throughout my life.

My neighbor, who is a brand new mommy, asked me if I wanted to hold her baby. I jokingly said, “Oh, I can’t or I will get baby fever”…awkward. I really didn’t want to hold her baby though, he’s cute and has beautiful blue eyes but those are attributes that I can admire from afar. Another case earlier this week, a coworker brought her baby boy in to work and everyone was oh-ing and aw-ing over him. They were saying things like, “I just want to bite those chubby cheeks” and, “I could just eat up those toesies" (while physically kissing on his toes), I chimed in with,“He has a lot of hair”... (again) awkward.

Let me reiterate by saying I don’t hate babies. I think babies are all miracles and blessings and the most innocent creatures on this planet. I just wish I could emit those feelingings vocally and physically, like I do with dogs. It does not matter where I am or what I am doing; at work, at a funeral, in the bathroom, at the gym, getting fired, etc. I will stop whatever I am doing and love on a dog. Not only that, but I will start a full on (one-sided) conversation with the dog as well. I will ask him how he is and what his name is? I will tell him that he is the sweetest puppy in the whole world (even if he isn’t) and I will tell him how much I love him (even though we just met). Why can’t I be like that with babies?

Some will argue that babies are better than dogs and all I can say is that it really depends on the person. Until you have a baby it’s hard to understand them or to engage with them. What do I say to babies? Can I hurt them? Will I get them sick? How do I hold them without breaking their neck? All valid questions that come from non-baby people. Conversely, with dogs the only real question or concern you might come across is, will it attack and kill me? If the answer is no, then the dog is free game to be loved on.

One day when I have babies of my own, I look forward to gaining a whole new vocabulary and immersing myself in conversations with infants everywhere. Until then I will stick to what I know, dogs, and continue building relationships with them.

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