11 Points

11 Things That Are Cute When You're a Baby But Hideous As an Adult
written by Sam Greenspan

Yesterday I was at my grandma's 90th birthday party. It was lovely. Also, there was a baby there.

This is me with the baby. I believe this is the first photo ever taken of me holding a baby. In contrast, Facebook features 400+ photos of me playing flip cup.
Now... I get a bit apprehensive around babies. Like Lisa and Moe, I don't like them and they don't like me. But this particular baby -- my cousin Juli's new baby Grant -- was in the one phase where I become a fan of babies. He's in the chubby phase.

I was magnetically drawn to him. I even volunteered to hold him, a Halley's Comet-type rarity in my world.

As I repeatedly babbled about his mesmerizing chubbiness, Juli suggested that I do an 11-point list about things that are cute about babies but not about adults.

And after giving my stock "Oh yeah, that could be good!" response that I usually give before internally vetoing a list idea... I actually sat down and made this list of things that are cute when you're a baby but awful when you're an adult.

It's mostly pictures.
  1. Toothlessness.

    For the baby, it means gumming your finger, eating pear-based pastes and eventually growing one hilarious jack-o-lantern tooth. For a human, it generally means they stay up for 56 straight hours disassembling and reassembling bicycles.

  2. Spontaneous bursts of crying.

    No one knows why babies cry. It's like trying to figure out how magnets work. But they do it and we're cool with it. Even on a plane, deep down, we know it's part of the process. When an adult cries, everyone feels awkward. Regardless of whether or not it's James van der Beek. (But especially if it is.)

  3. The combover look.

    Along the same "hair" genre, babies can also pull off the ghost-white skin with white-blonde hair look. As soon as they hit six with that look they look like like they're murderous corn children.

  4. Breastfeeding in public.

    In one of my lists last week, I mentioned my three favorite Jim Carrey movies and left out "Me, Myself and Irene". Someone sent a strongly-worded e-mail about that exclusion. It's definitely an interesting one -- I remember enjoying it when I saw it but, if I had to list Jim Carrey movies off the top of my head, there would probably be 20 I'd think of before it. (I mean, in a vacuum -- not right now, as I'm sitting here writing about it, which would make it the first one I think of.) It was a strangely forgettable movie. Not monumentally good, not monumentally bad, just a middle-of-the-bell-curve movie that, for whatever reason, never seems to be on the cable/HBO movie rotation.

    Anyway, in conclusion, Jim Carrey has a adult breastfeeding scene in the movie (when his "bad" split personality is doing stuff). And while I don't usually remember the movie, the minute I said "adult breastfeeding" it was the first thing I thought of. Let's see "Ace Ventura" or "The Number 23" do THAT.

  5. Cankles.

    There's something that's so sweet about fat baby legs, culminating with plumped-up ankles. On an adult, they look triceratopian.

  6. Pants with a ribbed elastic waistband.

    My dad recently said to me: "If I ever wear shorts with white socks and brown dress shoes, I give you permission to shoot me." (Not too bad of a line. Perhaps I can get Leonard Nimoy to play him in a sitcom.)

    Anyway, if I ever wear the pants pictured above, I'll give him permission to shoot me right back. Although he'll probably have to battle Steven Cojocaru to see who gets there first.

  7. Defecating in public.

    At first, I thought, "Perhaps it's not necessarily *cute* when a baby does that in public." And then I had this montage play in my head of a bunch of people cooing at babies, "Ooh, looks like swomebody mwade a stinky in his diapwer" and realized -- it's not cute by the classic (or actual) definition of the word, but to weird brainwashed parents, even public bowels are cute.

  8. Pulling your finger.

    Another thing I kept doing to the baby today was putting my finger near his hand and watching him grasp it. Yet another thing I find fascinating. Babies have those tiny fingers that almost look like real human fingers.

    The adult "pull my finger" thankfully seems to be on hiatus right now. At least until someone decides to do a reboot of "Beavis and Butthead".

  9. Spitting up.

    I really wanted to include Mischa Barton spitting up in "The Sixth Sense" here. To me, that beats out "The Exorcist" and "Stand By Me" for the most disgusting vomit scene in movie history.

    (None beats out the most disgusting vomit scene I saw in real life. Back in college, my friend's sister threw up one night after drinking. We'd eaten Panda Express earlier. Somehow her little pile of vomit looked exactly like the Panda Express. Rice, brown sauce, all of it -- in a nice little mound. I'll never shake that image from my mind.)

  10. Talking like a baby.

    Hearing a baby babble incoherently is infinitely more entertaining than hearing a couple arguing over which Shmoopy should hang up first.

  11. Wearing diapers.

    I was worried I might have trouble finding a good photo for elastic waistband pants. Perhaps I would run into difficulty getting the Mischa Barton screenshot from "Sixth Sense". Could I find a great toothless meth picture without feeling ill from the search? These questions all weighed in my mind as I brainstormed this list.

    Not for a single second did I worry about finding an incredible photo of an adult man wearing a baby diaper.

    And that's the Internet.

This post was originally published on Monday, August 9, 2010 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal.

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