Really, under any circumstance ever. I do not hold babies.
If you sifted through all my social media, or every picture that’s been taken of me – there will be maybe two tops of me holding a little nipple nibbler.
And I used to think it was because of my aversion to children. But after some thought, I’ve realized that kids only really annoy me from age 5 to 15. The way I see it, at five years old they become sentient enough to destroy and don’t really develop a conscious until about ten years later.
So what about newborns then?
Why don’t you hold them? I asked myself.
Then it dawned on me via the medium of memory.
Okay, story time.
In truth, a lot of this is fuzzy because of how long ago it happened, but there are a couple of very vivid parts that I’ll probably take with me to the grave. Actually, I’ll have to ask my mother if she remembers this event because it cracks me up now, but in the moment it must have been a real what the fuck, dude?
For context, I have two little cousins who are twins. Boy and a girl. They’re all grown up now and because there are small mercies in the world, there’s no way either one of them could possibly remember this.
I couldn’t have been any older than 8 or 9, but it was always cool when my mom babysat these two twin cousins of mine because I was fascinated with them. I’m an only child and I was young, so the idea that two people could be born at the same time was nearly a stretch on what I believed possible at that age.
Yes, it’s true. ‘Only children’ are weird as hell.
Anyway, they’re at my house visiting – and mind you, these two are like fresh-out-the-womb babies. So whenever my parents would let me hold them, they kept a close eye out because I guess you have to support a babies head or something when they’re that young. And they’re fragile. And yada-yada-yada.
So I didn’t get to play with them if my parents were doing something else, right? And at this specific instance, they were doing something else. My mom was cooking, so the twins were in the kitchen sleeping in their carseats, or baby carriers. Whatever the hell they’re called.
Now at this point it gets a little fuzzy because I know that I was in the kitchen, though I’m not really sure who’s to blame. But at some point water got poured on to hot grease and – yep, you guessed it. There was a fire.
I think I can go ahead and take responsibility because I have no other recollections of my mom causing a grease fire, and she’s not typically reckless in the kitchen. And to this day I still just chance it and run water into hot pans.
So let’s say for the argument of the story that there’s a possibility that I was trying to help my mom in the kitchen and it’s not totally unlikely that I added water where it shouldn’t have been and then that shit went up like the Fourth of July. All hypothetical though.
But it all gets crystal clear at this point. So now my moms fighting a fire with a kitchen towel, meanwhile my first instinct is to get another glass of water. At some point, it was expressed that I shouldn’t be in the kitchen at all. Which is good because fires scare me anyway.
And yet, there was still some heroic quality left in me as I abandoned my mother to fight the fire. I fled, but even in my hasty retreat, I thought, wait I can’t just leave the babies in here.
In a desperate attempt of agility, I attempt to grab both baby carriers and rest them to the safety of the living room.
Except I miscalculated. You see, like I said before, I was only 8 or 9. And there was no way I had the leverage, upper body strength, or height to grab two baby carriers at the same time.
One baby carrier hit the other, both tipped, and me, my mother and God watched as I dropped two babies onto the kitchen floor.
What’s weird is they didn’t even cry at first. It’s like they had experienced “What the fuck” years before they had the capacity to understand what it meant.
Rarely will something happen that shifts the emergency of your house potentially burning down to background noise. But if you’ve ever seen a baby dropped, it typically takes the forefront of any situation. And I dropped two.
Cause babies don’t shield their face with their arms, or brace for impact, or do anything really. They just eat shit full force, with the unwavering innocence of a someone who trusted you.
I don’t remember what my mom said after that, but no words needed saying honestly. In my heart of hearts, I knew. This is what fucking up looks like.
Both of them were fine and our house didn’t burn down, so I guess you can say all’s well that ends well.
But that memory alone is enough.
I don’t hold babies.