(This is a piece I wrote several years ago when Junior was an infant.)
Sam and I used to be interesting.
Then we became parents.
Now, the only thing we ever talk about is our baby.
You experienced parents out there know what I mean. No matter how exciting, interesting, or compelling whatever other people want to talk about is, our baby is all that matters to us. So, we divert every conversation with a “That reminds me of the other day when . . .” as we dive into a story about Junior, most likely one centered around him pooping (one of his strong suits).
We Talk With Everyone About Our Baby
As an example, a friend recently told me he was engaged. I briefly congratulated him, told him I was very happy for him, and then talked about Junior for the next twenty minutes. Without realizing it at the time, I had basically said, “You’ve found the women of your dreams, fallen madly in love, and you’re marrying her in what is sure to be the best thing you’ve done in your life. However, none of that is nearly as interesting as my baby’s sleeping schedule, so let me tell you about that instead.”
And our friends aren’t the only ones we share our baby stories with; we’ll talk to anyone who’ll listen. Like the other day at work, I walked into the payroll office and soon found myself talking at length with the receptionist, a woman I hardly know, about the pooping habits of my two month old.
At first I was surprised. I thought, “I’m a grown adult and here I am chatting with someone I don’t even know about poop.”
Then I realized that I talk with everyone about Junior’s poop. It’s what he’s best at and, as a proud parent, I’m obligated to talk about my son’s accomplishments in life.
The One Time We Tried Talking About Something Other Than Junior
If all this sounds bad, it gets even worse. The other day, Sam looked at me and said, “Let’s talk about something other than Junior.”
I said “Ok.”
Then we stared blankly at each other.
I was really trying to think of something to say, but nothing came to mind. After a couple minutes during which neither of us said a word, she finally said, “What did we talk about before Junior?” It had only been two months, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember.
We Aren’t the Only Ones with Baby Mania
Sam and I aren’t the only ones with this problem: we have half a dozen friends with new babies who are exactly the same way. I imagine all young parents feel an unrelenting urge to talk about their babies all the time.
And everyone else is willing to indulge them. You never hear anyone say, “Your baby’s not that interesting,” or “Will you please shut up about your baby.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Everyone loves talking about babies. Whenever I tell stories about Junior to more experienced parents, they invariably tell me essentially the exact same story about raising their kids. Even single people without kids seem perfectly willing to talk about Junior with me.
The Baby Black Hole Theory
After observing this behavior over the last several months, I formulated what I call the “Baby Black Hole Theory.” The basic premise of the theory is that babies are really just the human equivalent of a black hole (in a good way). This theory is founded on many sound scientific facts:
Fact 1: Black holes are the densest objects in the universe, babies are the cutest.
Fact 2: Black holes suck in everything around them, including light. Babies suck in everything around them, including conversations.
Fact 3: Black holes have enormous amounts of mass focused into a tiny point. Babies have enormous amounts of cuteness focused into a tiny body.
Fact 4: Black holes distort the space time continuum. So do babies.
The only real difference between a baby and a black hole is that the baby cute force is way stronger than the gravitational pull of a black hole. It’s actually a scientifically proven fact that when a baby gets close to a black hole, the black hole gets sucked into the baby, not the other way around. That’s why most scientists in the field (mainly just me) agree that a more accurate phrasing of the Baby Black Hole Theory is “a black hole is nature’s equivalent of a baby.”
That’s the power of cute.