Tag Archives: secrets

Your Baby Doesn’t Love You

Posted by: Josh

Having babies is just one of those things that is impossible to understand until you actually do it. The pop culture sure convinces you that you’ve got the general idea, with this deception rounded out by that baby you know and hang out with like, ALL the time (once every couple months). But when you’re in it for real you realize what a cartoon pop culture makes of parenting.

For instance: did you know that women don’t abruptly launch into labor and shoot babies out while stuck at the mall, in the cab, or in an elevator? No, really! Have you ever seen a labor on TV or in the movies that didn’t go down like that? OH MY GOD – THE BABY’S COMING! Waa. Waa. It’s a GIRL!

And then there are those parenting realities that have been conveniently ignored by pop culture. I’m thinking of one in particular–the biggest secret of the baby-raising business. Parents all know. Yet, you never hear about it, ever. Which is really too bad, because I think if we could pull back the veil, it would go a long way toward ending a seriously gross social problem: teenage pregnancy. So this one is for you, our sweet 13-something-year-old lady readers. I don’t know how you found your way here, but you’re about get innoculated against Teenage Baby Fever.

Listen: Your baby doesn’t love you.

Really! For almost as long as your baby is technically a baby, she couldn’t give a damn about you.

Sure, okay, I know, I know, your baby needs you. Of course. But not in the way that a puppy dog needs you. More like… a pet bird needs you. Or a reptile of some persuasion.

Eleanor was probably more like an angry wolverine (at least for the first two months). Food, shelter, something to suck on, some serious rocking, yes, yes. But she wasn’t looking for hugs and kisses. If she had the claws and coordination, I expect she would’ve scratched our faces off (and she actually did try to grow claws!). After the extreme fussiness calmed down (about two months), she still wasn’t that impressed with us.

Until about a year or so, and barely then, babies aren’t offering anything more in the love and tenderness department than the occasional complaint to be held.

So what’s the deal? Well, turns out, new babies are needy, completely needy, and in an anti-social way, because, well, they haven’t been socialized yet! Babies don’t know how to act like people. That’s your job. You have to teach your baby to love you, and more specifically, how to show that love. We do this unconsciously, heaping affection on our babies and giving wonderful, rewarding responses to returned affection. But it is something that babies have to learn, and it takes a while! Some babies are never taught and grow into adults with scary attachment disorders.

Only in the last couple months has Eleanor started to really show affection for her old ma and pa. Before that, we were more like personal baby butlers.

So young ladies, please keep in mind: you’re going to be sorely disappointed if you think a puppy is going to pop out of your uterus.