Why I Should Really Never Be Allowed Out Of The House, Ever

May 31, 2011

Here’s a little public service announcement: if you are a mom with a new baby, and you see me in public, you should steer clear of me, because I will terrorize you.

Me (seeing a baby at a cocktail party for a recent business conference): “Oh, my god, your baby is so adorable. SO ADORABLE. Can I sniff her head?”

Mildly Alarmed New Mother: “Um, thanks. And, yeah, okay, sure, I guess.”

Me: sniffs baby head.

Mildly Alarmed New Mother: smiles awkwardly.

Me: “She smells like cookies. Or cupcakes. Both. SO YUMMY.”

Slightly Less Alarmed New Mother: “I know, right? Babies do smell yummy.”

Me: “I could eat a baby. I mean, I wouldn’t, obviously. I nibbled on my own baby’s toes a few times, sure, but I wouldn’t actually eat a baby.”

Slightly Confused New Mother: “Oh, um, sure, yeah…”

Me: “I mean, babies are totally edible, though. Which is why vampires could never have babies. Like that whole sub-plot in the Twilight series where vampires have babies, that’s just, like, totally implausible. Because if a vampire had a baby a vampire would totally eat that baby, if not right away, then just as soon as that baby got the chunky baby thighs. They just wouldn’t be able to help themselves. I mean, I am totally not a vampire, and I want to chew on babies, and if a real non-vampire person is tempted to nosh on some baby, then, really, an actual vampire would totally not be able to help themselves. They would totally eat their babies. I don’t think that anyone can argue with that. It’s just fact.”

At that point – I probably don’t even need to add this detail – she backed away, very, very slowly. Which I get, totally. If there’s one thing that you don’t want to hear from a stranger who has just huffed your baby’s head, it’s that that stranger can imagine eating your baby. I understand that.

In my defense, though, it was one of those environments – conference, cocktail party – into which, I think, if you bring a baby, you should expect that baby to get attention, and baby-attention, in my experience, usually involves lots of cooing and warbling. And I did ask permission to sniff that baby’s head; I mean, you don’t just go ahead and sniff another person’s baby, because that’s bad manners. Again, granted, I should maybe have not have followed up the head-sniff by suggesting to that mom that if I were a vampire, I would totally have eaten her baby, but still. I stand by my argument. Vampires would totally eat babies if vampires were allowed anywhere near babies, which is why there could be no such thing as vampire babies. That’s just science.

I think.

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    Amanda May 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I am wildly inappropriate around babies. Especially new ones. I always make comments about eating them or chewing on them or squishing them or squeezing their cuteness until they pop. Luckily, my friends are weird and I can *mostly* control myself around strangers, so it’s never lead to the cops being called. Yet.

    Ali May 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Awesome post. Ya know, if I had a nickel for every time I had the “vampires would eat their own babies” conversation I’d be a millionaire. I’d also bet that vampire moms DO NOT breastfeed their little vampires once their fangs grow in. And I was completely unaware that vampire babies *heart* NY.

    a May 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    @Ali, I suspected the love for NY, but I’m surprised by the appreciation of Led Zepplin.

    Ali May 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    @a, Ah- good eye!

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    @a, like vampire babies would be anything BUT hardcore rockers.

    a May 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Somewhere around the midpoint of True Blood Season 1, it is mentioned that the only vampire food better than a young virgin is a baby. So there ya go – confirmation.

    I have a similar reaction at funerals, so I choose not to cause the bereaved further grief and I just stay home. If these social occasions where I start inappropriate babbling keep adding up, I’ll soon be a complete hermit.

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    @a, True Blood = SCIENCE.

    Kristen May 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Babies–especially those of chunky thigh fame–are TOTALLY nibble-able. Totally.

    On a not-quite-related note, my blog once had the following search term: “doula the vampire.” I joked with a friend that vampire doulas might greatly help to reduce the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage.

    She backed away not-so-slowly.

    Jessica May 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    You know.. I really don’t think the whole “I would eat your baby” thing is that bad. I mean… obviously, you’re not going to eat the baby, and if you were, you’d probably be in the corner staring at it and salivating instead of asking the mum if you could sniff it.

    I’m much worse. I tend to say things like “ooooh… I could just take her home with me, right now!” or “He’s adorable! I’m totally stealing him!” And of course, since this is said while I’m holding and snuggling said baby…

    Of course, generally, these are babies belonging to people who know me, so no one’s too worried. They know where I live.

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    @Jessica, I’ve done the IMMA STEAL YOUR BABY thing too. It’s a toss up which is worse, if you ask me.

    Sarah May 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I have to admit– when I read the Twilight subplot about babies, I totally thought the same thing. Yeah, mother love and all, but how could you not eat a baby? If you’re a vampire, that is. Sheesh, I want to slowly back away from myself right now.

    Jen May 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I totally agree! I love to smell newborn babies. My aunt, who is a nurse who works in Labor and Delivery once said that if she could bottle that new baby smell, she’d make millions within minutes.

    zchamu May 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I got to snuggle a week-old noob today. Had her in the sling and everything. I think I might have lactated a little. Anyway, yes. Vampires were probably ill-advised. But if this was the same night you were discussing political philosophy with Brandi Carlile then I can see why it happened.

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    @zchamu, are you suggesting that I was drinking? SHAME. You know perfectly well that if I’d been drinking I’d have brought up honey badgers.

    red pen mama May 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    While I am laughing wildly at your possibly inappropriate conversation, I have to admit that this simply further confirms my decision to have nothing to do with Twilight in book or movie form. So, uh, thank you for that.

    And I had the experience this past weekend of holding a 12-pound 4-month-old baby and reveling in the fact that she was not my 20 pound 6 month old (whom I love above nearly all things except his two sisters). I commented that I was going to throw her over my shoulder. Accidentally of course.

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    @red pen mama, what? you don’t like stories about vampire babies? THE HORROR.

    Sara Hamil May 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Laughing. So. Damn. Hard.

    If I ever become a mother, I hope I’m at least half as awesome as you are, Catherine. No sarcasm implied either. Just sayin’.

    Nicole May 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    After I compose myself I have to say this post is hilarious. I think we can all be inappropriate around babies… vampires or no vampires :)

    The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful May 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’m developing a Top Of Babies’ Head eau d toilette.

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    @The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful, I would buy that product.

    Christina D. May 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    OMIGOD – I think this is just about the most hilarious thing you’ve ever written! I died when you got to the bit about “obviously vampires would eat the babies once their thigh chunk set in, I mean, that’s just science.”

    Thank you for this. What a wonderful afternoon jolt of humor!


    Columbiarose May 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I couldn’t finish the post. I was getting phantom letdown reflexes. It’s been umpteen years, and I still get those just thinking about new baby smell.

    Mom101 May 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    At least you could think of something to say.

    I’m always like uh….

    cute baby.

    Jaelithe May 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    See, I just imply I want to STEAL other people’s babies, which is totally normal and not unsettling at all.

    Christine May 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I cannot argue with you about vampire science. But if you had told ‘alarmed new mother’ that you are a famous blogger named ‘her bad mother’ she probably would have calmed the fuck down. Immediately. Right?

    Her Bad Mother June 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    @Christine, so, basically, I should just wear a button that says I AM A FAMOUS BLOGGER U SHLD LET ME EAT UR BABY?

    I like that idea.

    Christine June 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    @Her Bad Mother, yes I think you should throw your weight around a bit ;)

    Sarah June 1, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Based on his research during our son’s eight months of life, my husband is convinced that cute babies are the number one cause of cannibalism in women.

    Clueless But Hopeful Mama June 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Don’t worry. That mother will go through the same thing – from the other perspective – as soon as she has no longer has a wee babe with perfect dumpling thighs and doughnut feet and sweet roll cheeks and CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP.

    Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments June 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    1. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!
    2. I totally understand how vampires could eat babies.
    3. We have the exact same I <3 NY onesie!
    Thanks for the laugh!

    Lisa June 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Have you been hanging around The Bloggess? Because this sounds like something she would totally write.

    Her Bad Mother June 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    @Lisa, Jenny is a good friend of mine, but zombies are more her thing.

    Lisa June 6, 2011 at 8:34 am

    @Her Bad Mother, It wasn’t the vampires, so much as the goofiness. :-)

    It’s actually nice to see you goofy.

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