Hey, It’s Me, That Baby You’re Talking About Having!

An open letter to hypothetical parents, from your hypothetical baby

Hey guys. It’s me, that hypothetical baby you’ve been having a discussion about. So you’re wondering about whether now is a good time to have a baby? Normally hypothetical babies like me don’t get to participate in these discussions, but I’ve been feeling left out. Pardon me if it sounds like I’ve been eavesdropping on your conversations. I haven’t been, I swear, but I’d like to get some things off what would become my chest. So, here I am to offer my admittedly biased and babyish opinions.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

First off, I appreciate you for making me the subject of discussion at all. I’ve seen couples just be so willy nilly about it, like “if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen”. If you’re going to be my parents, I’d like you to have some sort of a game plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s likely I’ll have little control over my life until I conquer high school, so it helps to know you’ve got some control over yours, you know? It’s just reassuring to know you’re at least trying.

There are some crap reasons I’ve heard for a couple to have a baby and I’m gonna tell you how I feel about them. Hopefully you can imagine yourself in my diaper.

Ladies, do not have me just because your man wants a kid. As if letting him plant his seed in your tummy is needed to prove that you really, really love him. Make sure that you want me too! Don’t have me for someone else’s sake. Not all women want to be mothers. It’s okay to feel that way. At this point, I’m still hypothetical, so no hard feelings.

The same goes for you too, bros. If you aren’t sure you want to father her baby, she has no business in pressuring you. I don’t want to bank my future on the hope that my future daddy — initially against having a baby — is going to do a 180 after the fact. Is it too much to ask for both of my parents to want me at the same time? And assuming neither one of you is a jerk, it’d be cool if you didn’t walk out on me before I have the chance to know you. It helps to have your relationship completely figured out before I come into the picture.

Photo by Paolo Bendandi on Unsplash

Grandparents sound like fun, but I’m not interested in showing up for them alone because they aren’t the ones who plan to raise me. As aesthetically pleasing as I may be, I’m not some piece of art you put into the world to make other people smile. I really don’t care how happy it makes your parents or inlaws to see their DNA passed on to the next generation. Making old people people happy is not my crusade. I am just a baby — or would be, rather — and I mostly just care about myself.

Being helpless and selfish is what we babies do. You do remember being like that, right? If not, just imagine I’m like your self-centered ex who always wanted you to do everything for them, except cuter and smaller and with a better excuse. Yeah, that’s me, take it or leave it!

Please don’t start writing me up a job description already. I might help you change a tire or listen to you sob about your broken dreams someday, but that day is a long way off. Just because you decorated a room all cute for me doesn’t mean I’m going to come into your life and start performing miracles. Cool as it would be, I’m not your messiah. You’re pretty much going to have do all the miracles.

If you suffer from adult loneliness, yeah, we babies can provide company. We’ll never stop wanting you around when we’re fresh out of the womb. You’ll feel like the center of our universe at first. But then we reach a certain age, and we begin to want some space. I’m sorry to say, having a baby is only a temporary solution to your fear of being alone — so it’s a halfbaked reason to have one.

I’m gonna want the freedom to become my own person. I might like different hobbies, I might have different values. I’ll probably find a best friend, and you’ll have to deal with it not being you. Eventually I’ll start to grow out of my selfishness and become a more civilized human being, but giving your life a sense of purpose is still not going to be my number one priority. I’ll have begun seeking my own sense of purpose. Please don’t burden me with the expectation that once you have me, your life will feel complete.

Have I been sounding a little high maintenance? Okay, I’m sorry if I come off as demanding. I guess I feel entitled. From what I know so far, human babies are some of the highest maintenance creatures on the planet Earth, so bearing that in mind, I just felt like I should butt into your conversation.

Photo by Tim Bish on Unsplash

If you decide to have me, I can’t promise you I’ll be what you expect. I can’t promise I’ll be that perfectly behaved dream baby. I can’t promise I’ll make the bond between you and your lover more intimate or more permanent. I really can’t promise you anything… except challenges. Snot and tears. If you think you can handle this hot mess, I’m real excited to meet you. Promise me you’ll do your best to love me as I am.

Henry is an avid reader, writer, composer, and consumer of documentary films. He supports dialogue about mental health, race relations, and the LGBTQ community.

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