Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Things Nobody Tells You About Being Pregnant, Part 5: The Ugly Baby

We all know they exist: ugly babies. Yes, they are out there, whether we care to admit it or not. And many of us have seen at least one, though we would deny it with all of our being. Babies aren't supposed to be ugly. But alas, sometimes they just are. There's even an entire Seinfeld episode centered around an ugly baby, proving once and for all that it really does happen. For we all know that if Seinfeld addressed it, it's happened.

We've all seen it happen, maybe even done it ooh and aah over a baby and say, "Oh, she's beautiful!" All the while you're thinking, "My gosh, that's an ugly kid. I sure hope she grows out of it." You might even comment to a friend as you leave, wondering if you were the only one who saw the hideousness. They saw it too, they just didn't want to say anything for fear of being drawn and quartered. I will admit that the ugly baby phenomenon is rare, but it does happen. People say all the time, "There are no ugly babies." I would have to fundamentally disagree. The miracle of a baby is a beautiful thing. They just don't all look beautiful.

I think every new mom-to-be has an innate fear that her baby will be ugly. And even worse is the thought that he/she could be ugly and as the Mom, you just don't realize it. That has to be the worst part - having an ugly baby and not even knowing it. Of course as the parent, you will always think your kid is the most gorgeous thing in the world, and that's the way it should be. But I know that deep down, you have to wonder at some of the looks your kid gets as you stroll through the mall. Sure, people are pointing at your kid and smiling. But is that a good thing or a bad thing? If you know you have an ugly baby, you can pretty much be assured of what those people are saying to their friends behind their shopping bags.

The insecurity begins when you announce you're pregnant and people say, "You guys are going to have such cute kids!" Well, of course you never doubted that for a second. Why in the world would you marry an ugly man that you thought would give you ugly babies? But then someone doesn't say it. You wonder if they think you're going to have cute kids. Do they think you're ugly? Do they think that your husband is ugly? Do they think your kid is going to be ugly? And then you hear someone say the cute kid remark about someone else, and wonder if they said the same thing about you. You begin to see yourself on the playground with a 4-year-old wolfman that everyone is afraid to play with, meanwhile you think the other kids won't play with him because he has a snotty nose. In reality, it's because slobber continually drips off of his fangs, and his beard makes them itchy.

Personally, I have taken out some insurance on the ugly baby front. If my kid is ugly, I want to know it. Not that I'm going to put a bag over his head when we go out, but I want to be aware. I want to prepare myself, not be caught unsuspecting by an innocent kid in the mall who loudly exclaims, "Mommy, look at the baby monkey!" And what is that insurance, you might ask? I have two people who believe in the ugly baby phenomenon who are sworn to inform me of the absolute cuteness or complete hideousness level of my kid. It might not be easy, but at least I'll know.

And knowing is half the battle. At least according to some early 1990's PSAs.

Entire What Nobody Tells You Series:

Part 1: You Always Have To Pee
Part 2: Snot and Boogers
Part 3: Weight Gain
Part 4: Clothes and Fashion
Part 5: The Ugly Baby
Part 6: The Loaded Question
Part 7: The Gear
Part 8: Your Crazy Mind

And then:

Some Pregnancy Advice
Some MORE Pregnancy Advice Pin It


  1. I am a VERY firm believer in the "ugly baby phenomenon" I volunteered in the nursery this past Easter Sunday.. no lie, three of the UGLIEST babies in history were there! WOW.

  2. ***In reality, it's because slobber continually drips off of his fangs, and his beard makes them itchy.
    <---- This is my new favorite Blog line in history.
    I am certain that your kiddo is going to be beyond adorable. But just in case, I promise to avert my eyes so you'll know.