Cute is a relative term.

So, I have something to say, and it probably will make me a little unpopular.

There’s no good way to say it, so I’ll just come out with it.

I mean, I’m not going to sugarcoat it.

So here it goes.

To me, newborn babies aren’t really that cute.

Look, my kids are the most beautiful things in the world. But even I can admit that for the first few hours, I’m like, “Ummm, why am I holding a mini-Walter Matthau in my arms? Breastfeeding is now a little awkward.”

Everyone thinks it. I know they must.

Your kid is born, and they are blessings, sure. But then you’re like, “Kid, you’re four days outta the womb now, WHAT IS UP with the red, splotchy skin? Adjust to the new world, already!”

Newborns are puffy and swollen. They come out with those dark, shark eyes and coneheads. Some of them are covered in slimy stuff.

And they all make those grumpy old men faces. Who can blame them? The outside world is way more complicated than life in utero.

Newborns – and I’m talking really new, like hours old – are just smaller versions of Sil from “The Sopranos,” with scrunched faces and pouty lower lips (minus the violent tendencies and love of the F-word).

I guess there is something endearing about the little-old-man-ness. As parents, you fall in love right away, no matter what your kid looks like/is covered with/secretes on you.

For example.

I just had a baby. A gorgeous little girl who is giving her brother a run for his money in terms of being the cutest baby I have ever seen.

Yet.

She came out with some body hair. On her back and arms.

My sweet, gorgeous angel has dark hair on her back. She has back hair. Manly, rugged back hair.

I have only myself to blame. If you know David and me, you know I’m the hairy one. It’s quite unfortunate for both of us, really. But back to the baby’s back hair.

It’s hair that many newborns have – called lanugo. Usually rubs off after awhile.

Ever the vigilant, protective daddy, David would prefer she keep the back hair and the Snuffy Smith appearance to ward off boys in the future.

Me? Well, I think she is perfection, hairy back and all. But sometimes when she crumples up her face and starts sticking out that lower lip, I can’t help but glimpse at her hairy, flexed biceps and think, “Well, it’s not exactly how I pictured a baby girl.”

Trust me – I know all about being a not-hot baby. The doc used the forceps on me because apparently – shockingly, if you ask me – I was a stubborn little fetus. Long story short, I eventually, forcibly did make my entrance, and a family friend later told my father he thought I looked like “a beaten up, old softball.”

Old balls, old men, whatever – every baby is beautiful, because babies are an affirmation of life.

And I suppose there is something endearing (comforting? commiserating?) about the fact that in the beginning and in the end, we will all look like Walter Matthau.

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