Being a new parent is a lot of talk about who the baby looks like. It’s you. No, it’s you. That’s your chin. But that’s your nose, and you’re both wrong because actually the baby looks like Ernest Borgnine but with less hair and less teeth. Before this you were married, and that was a lot of talk about food. What to make for dinner, and what to take out for dinner tomorrow, and what to get at the store for dinner next week. No one has any good ideas, and you’re just mad that the other can’t decide. But that was before, and now you look at eyes conspiratorially. An ear never held so much mystery. Later, inevitably, the talk will turn to money because that’s where all talk is leading. Where did it go? and How do we get more? You probably need the money to get more food, but again, no one will have any answers. At some point, one of you will joke about selling the baby, and it’s a joke, but it’s really the best plan. After all, the baby is where the money’s gone, and it’s not likely to recoup anything. The ROI on babies is dismally low. You’re better off investing in penny stocks, really, but it was just a joke, and no one will take it too seriously. Besides, one day you will be old and someone will have to look after you. The talk will be Should we hide his car keys? and Is it time to put Mom in a home? and if you’re lucky enough to make it, you’ll be a burden on your children. They’ll end up changing your diapers. There’s a beautiful sentiment there, if you really want to know, and you’ll miss it all if you actually sell the baby, no matter who she looks like.
Ian Anderson is a writer and designer living in Baltimore, MD, with his wife and daughter. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Mason Jar Press, and his work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Wigleaf, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, JMWW, Okay Donkey, Five : 2 : One Magazine, and elsewhere. When not writing, designing, running a press, being a husband or father, he is listening to The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. He tweets about that and other things from @ianandersonetc.