Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Don't Be Such A Baby

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Babies are so expressive, I think as my uncle soothes the crying four-month old with tender hushes and steady pats. It is the first time little Taylor has cried during the entire length of our visit, and, to make up for the tantrum-less two weeks, he plans to put on quite a performance.

His plump cheeks, normally cherubic and dusted a delicate pink, are turning splotchy with a mixture of fear and panic. Frightened tears create a liquid film over his eyes and gather into small, glossy pools that soon after trickle down in shiny rivulets to his chin. His entire, tiny body is shaking.

Auntie is cooing to him in a singsong voice reserved for situations like this. Though she is a first-time mother, she already has an arsenal of calming rhymes prepared for baby Taylor. This one is his favorite.

Baby whatcha say say?
Darling little Tay Tay
Says he wants to play, play
All day, every day, day!

After a few repetitions of this soothing tune, he stops trembling and turns a winsome, heart-rending glance at his mother. An unspoken signal. She responds by scooping him up and unhooking her bra. Baby Taylor is hungry.

As he feeds, little rosebud mouth inching back and forth until his appetite is satisfied and his eyelids droop, I admire him from a distance.

One of the most endearing things to me about infants is how they live by feeling. Every pain or discomfort, and every trouble or concern is passionately announced with a small furrowed brow and a patchy red face. Every pleasure and delight will cause tremors of excitement and peals of uncontrollable laughter.

If Taylor’s happy, he’ll dance. If he’s scared, he’ll cry. If he’s uncomfortable, he’ll squirm. If he doesn’t like you, he’ll make sure you know. When we grow up, we lose that sincerity. We learn to be self-conscious and mind what other people think. We learn the meaning of secrecy and deceit. “Don’t be such a baby,” we say whenever someone shows more emotion than is appropriate. But maybe it’s not always such a bad thing to act like a baby. At least they’re genuine.

Maybe we should all act a little more like babies, if only just once in a while.

Taylor is asleep. His little rosebud mouth hasn’t stopped inching back and forth, though feeding time is over. My aunt winks at me, and I know why. He’s dreaming.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback