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Cannon: Being a baby means never having to say you're sorry

Published November 11, 2011 7:27 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

After raising a truckload of males, my husband and I are now officially specializing in females. Our second grandchild — another girl! — made her grand entrance last week in Greenville, N.C., an event that has inspired the following list of baby-related observations.

Um, North Carolina is a loooooong way away from Utah. Memo to my kids: Seriously? You guys had to go there to have a baby? You couldn't find a closer hospital?

But hey! At least there's Skype!

Every time I see a newborn — even if she's on my computer screen — I am smitten by those hands. I love it when the fingers suddenly fan open and then pause, like tiny wings in midflight.

And how about those miniature ears, too? SO CUTE. Way cuter than adult ears. (Especially the hairy ones.)

Funny thing. I haven't given birth for years. Years, I tell you! In fact, the last time I had a baby was shortly after man discovered fire. And yet the birth of this new granddaughter has triggered an avalanche of memories. Suddenly I feel like I just had those babies of mine. Here's what I remember about them.

The scent of their wrinkled necks and downy heads. There's nothing else like this odd perfume, and it doesn't last long — maybe a week or two — which is why you should be required by federal law to do nothing but hold that infant until the scent disappears.

In fact, newborns are experts at engaging all the senses. There's the feel of flannel blankets, the smell of powders and lotions and fabric softener, the sound of baby breath and random squeaks. …

OK, fine. You're right. I ADMIT IT! I'm turning all sentimental. I do remember that it's not all bliss when a baby finally shows up.

For one thing, both parents are tired. So, so, so very tired with their tired arms and tired backs and tired eyes. Even their hair gets tired.

And oh yeah. The mom hurts. EVERYWHERE. You're unprepared for that the first time around. You're unprepared that you've innocently stepped off a street curb — la la la la! — only to have been flattened by a big old Mack truck otherwise known as "The Baby Express."

It must be said, too, that for some new mothers, the world becomes a temporarily irrational place, both dark and threatening.

Also, your schedules — work, school, exercise — go straight out the window for a while. So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

You didn't believe people when they told you this, but now you know it's true: Babies turn your rocking world upside-down. And after that they turn it inside out and sideways, too.

Don't expect them to apologize, however.

Being a baby means you never have to say you're sorry.


The birth of a child is a profoundly primal moment, inherently fraught with possibility and hope. It's life saying yes to itself. High Five!

Meanwhile I'm packing my bags and heading south. This time next week I'll be in the Tar Heel State saying hello to my Tar Heel girl. Welcome to this bright, big planet, Eloise. We're glad you made it.

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com or facebook.com/columnistcannon.






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