Okay. There’s something I have to say that some may find offensive. I hope it won’t make anyone too angry but it can’t be helped. Okay, here goes: my kid is cuter than yours. There! I’ve said it. Hopefully we can all still be friends. I’m sure someone out there would like to argue with me, but it’s true. And to prove it, I offer the following evidence:

Case closed. Now, I’m not trying to say your kid isn’t cute. I’m just pointing out that mine is cuter. Because, ALL babies are cute, right? WRONG! And this brings me to my point. There are some really ugly babies out there. Okay, not ugly. Weird-looking. There are some really weird-looking babies out there. See, there’s just no good way to say it. Some babies just aren’t cute. I know I sound like a horrible person, but I never claimed to be anything else. The truth is, most babies are pretty cute. Probably 99 times out of 100 a baby will get the “Awwwwww!” response we all pretty much expect. But sometimes a baby comes along that gets more of a puzzled “Huh.” You can deny it ’til you’re as blue in the face as a weird-looking baby, but I bet everyone’s seen at least one little bundle of joy who reminded them a bit too much of Groucho Marx or Rodney Dangerfield. (Or both! *shudder*) But no matter how much a baby actually looks like a 90-year-old elf, the parents always seem to think he/she is the most beautiful baby ever born.

So a few months ago, while I was pregnant with my first baby, I made a decision. I decided that if I had an ugly baby, I wanted to know. I asked a friend to tell me when the baby was born if he was ugly. Most mothers would be ridiculously offended by that, but I was determined. Of course it wouldn’t make me love him less, but I’d know what was what. (Okay. I admit, I don’t think I was ever really serious about this. But I seriously did hope I’d be able to tell if my kid was one of the weird-looking ones.) My friend’s answer was that under no circumstances would she tell me my baby was ugly. But it did get us talking about the cute baby phenomenon. In nature, baby animals are almost universally the most adorable things we can think of. Even if you don’t really like cats or dogs, a kitten or a puppy could still probably get you to do anything it wanted.

Puppy and Kitten

Go ahead. Say no to us. We dare you.

And there is, of course, a reason for this. It’s a survival thing. It’s hard to let something bad happen to something so sweet. Animals basically need to think their babies are cute, no matter what, so they will instinctively want to protect them. I can almost picture it now. There’s the mother blobfish showing off her adorable new baby while all the other animals hem and haw and refuse to make eye contact.

Oh, look. He has his father’s nose!

And people are basically the same. Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has helped give us a reason to take care of our own offspring. We all see our own kids as the best that genetics could possibly have to offer. That way, we put up with changing diapers and getting puked on on a daily basis instead of abandoning our kids in the forest to be raised by wolves, who may or may not want to raise them anyway, depending on how cute they think they are. Thinking our kids are cute makes us want to care for something that needs our help. So I guess being another clueless parent who is blindly, ridiculously proud of their adorable baby is not such a bad thing. At least my kid is one of the cute ones. And if he isn’t, I don’t want to know!

Life Lesson Learned: Nature knows best.