I hate babies.

That is a statement of fact. It is not a passing fancy. It is not an affectation. You know the scenes in movies when the heroine is in a dark room and the monster sneaks up silently right behind her? She realizes that it is right there when she can hear it breathing just over her shoulder. She is all tense and has her eyes closed because she can just barely hold herself together if she doesn’t see it. That’s me when there is a baby in a room.

I don’t interact with them. I don’t look at them. It isn’t that I don’t CHOOSE to look at them. I physically can not MAKE myself look at them without supreme force of will. Just knowing that there is a baby in a room puts me on the edge of a panic attack.

My brother’s wife had a baby recently. It has been her major goal in life to do this. I told her before she ever got pregnant to realize that I would not have anything to do with any future offspring until they are older. It isn’t personal. It is the way I’m wired. She understood. I called her the night before her scheduled c-section and told her goodbye and that I’d see her in a few years. She laughed.

If I had my way I wouldn’t attend family functions for a while. But she had the kid right before the 4th of July. My dad and the SO are major pyromaniacs who look forward to this all year. They were not going to miss the excuse to blow stuff up so we had to go up there.

It was awful. I am perfectly willing to mind my own business and talk to the grown ups. I am not standing in the middle of a room screaming, “Oooooh icky! Get it away!!!!” However this is not acceptable around babies for some reason. People feel a need to wave it around in your face.

The parents of the child were fine. My SIL is totally disillusioned with the whole idea of parenthood it seems and had almost as little to do with her baby as I did. It is not going well and certainly isn’t anything like she had always dreamed. NICU, tube feeding, now refusing to nurse, screaming for hours if made to eat, etc. The baby was quiet while it was at my parents’ so she took the time to be far away.

My brother brought it over to me once. He said, “This is your niece.” Then he added sarcastically, “She’s thrilled to meet you.” I added in the same tone, “The feeling’s mutual.” That cracked us both up. Of course my mother came rushing with the camera to take a picture of the historic first meeting. I instinctively held up my hand to make bunny ears but almost flipped her off instead. I got my hand back under control in time but that made my brother and I laugh harder. I’m sure there will be several pictures of us looking ever so happy over the baby.

I always thought that I take too many pictures. I was wrong. I’ve never seen so many pictures taken. There were both sets of grandparent paparazzi there and my SIL’s brother and his wife and one year old. Everything was photo worthy. The one year old ate a hamburger. She was probably blinded by all the flashes going off. My brother kept muttering, “It’s not like you’re never going to see her eat again.” My mother took as many pictures of the kid she wasn’t related to as the one she was.

Poor Freckles had to deal with the mobile child. She kept trying to put funnels on Freckles’ head like a hat. She looked at the kid like she was obviously nuts. Freckles learned quickly to jump up on a couch if she saw the kid coming.

My mother believes that most everything I do is just to cause trouble and to “be difficult.” So of course she brought the baby over and sat next to me and ordered me to touch it. She told me that I was crushing my SIL’s feeling by not playing with it. I looked at my SIL. She just seemed very relieved not to have a baby at that moment. Then my mother touched me with the kid. Remember the movie scene from above? I jumped straight up and yelped. Involuntary response. I fled the house for the front porch and stayed there until the baby was gone.

I didn’t have to see it again thankfully. But this morning my passive-aggressive mother had a conversation with Freckles that I could just “happen” to overhear. “You’re a good dog. Everybody likes you. Everybody pets you. (She goes through a whole list of everyone who petted her this weekend). Jason petted you even though your mommy won’t pet his kid. Blah, blah, blah….” Maybe she didn’t really say blah, blah, blah but I tuned her out.

The SO wants to go back for Thanksgiving. At least I have 4 months to psych myself up for this again.