How to sniff a baby
What’s cute on a baby isn’t necessarily cute on an adult.
By Scott Dunlop
‘As soft as a baby’s bottom’, the saying goes. Even if you’ve never changed a nappy, you can imagine the fuzzy peachiness of that. If you are up to your elbows in used nappies, however, that probably isn’t your favourite expression to hear. Also, ‘as soft as an adult’s bottom’ doesn’t work at all.
Having had a couple of babies, it seems that everyone has a favourite baby bit. What’s odd is that the qualities which in a baby are adorable, in an adult can be pretty scary...
For the first few months, a baby seems to be all cheeks. It takes a while for a jawline and cheekbones to appear out of the soft, round face. Unfortunately, this is just ammunition for the pinchers, who will insist on taking a thumb-and-forefinger-full of skin, and pinching it until baby is crying or pink. Those same adults probably suck in their own cheeks when posing for photos.
I, for one, don’t find anything interesting in toes. Especially adult ones. But there are people who love baby toes. Those tiny nubbins of flesh with translucent nails. “Look at THOSE!”, they’ll exclaim. Sure, they don’t smell too cheesy, but I’ll never recover from the fear of trying to clip tiny toenails without crippling my baby. But compared with hairy, bony, smelly adult toes, babies win every time.
Huge thigh rolls
Unless you’re an Olympic weightlifter, chances are you don’t want huge thighs, but babies get their big, wobbly legs clutched and grabbed by smiling grown-ups- the same grown-ups who get a worried look when standing in front of the mirror clutching at their own legs. Baby thighs? The more rolls, the better!
Hair (or the lack of it)
Babies can get away with being bald. Something about it accentuates their huge, freaky eyes. Many are born hair-free, and this is celebrated with gentle caresses and knitted bonnets. Once hair finally grows in, chances are your kid won’t want to be bald ever again.
Massive round bellies
You can try making a zerbert on your forearm, but the only place guaranteed to create the right balance between curves and tension is a baby’s belly. Also, it’s one of the places we know instinctively will produce an irresistible baby chuckle. It’s not so popular when performed on an adult. Trust me.
It’s totally ok to go up to a baby and sniff him, but most adults get upset if you try the same with them. There are so many mysteries about babies, but maybe that’s why we love them so much. They can’t stop us from pinching, sniffing and patting them.
What’s your favourite baby body part?
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