You’ve spent years admiring babies from a distance, well aware that a baby is safer and happier if it never comes in contact with you. While most of the world’s population has no trouble holding a baby, you know for a fact that a baby in your arms is a death sentence for any infant.
No one else seems aware of this, however, because at some point, some misguided person will thrust a baby into your arms and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. New parents assure you that babies aren’t as fragile as they seem but you know that’s bullshit — one false move and you killed it. So what do you do?
1. Before picking up the baby, make sure you aren’t sweating a whole ton.
Not only would sweat make the baby slip right out of your arms like a piece of soap, but sweat is a sign of fear. Babies can sense fear, so you need to trick the baby into thinking you know what you are doing. Wipe all your sweat off and smile and laugh, as if you aren’t about to mistakenly drop someone else’s new reason for being.
2. Just remember that even if you hold the baby correctly you’ll probably drop it or crush it into multiple pieces with your arms.
The string bean of a spinal cord is as fragile as a celery stick, and all it takes is one fast movement or a stiff breeze and that baby is a puddle of guts at your feet. If you don’t hold the bottom correctly the baby may slip out, and now all you have is a head in your hand.
3. Hold the head gently with one hand or else it will most likely fall right off.
A baby’s head is the heaviest, most easily ruined part of its body. If the head is not supported it will fall right off. If you squeeze that soft bag of brains too hard, the baby’s brain will mush like pink mashed potatoes and you’ll never be forgiven. Plus, the eyeballs might pop out. You have no idea how this baby is still alive but then again this is its first encounter with you.
4. Use your right arm to scoop up the baby’s bottom so it doesn’t slip out and splash on the ground like a water balloon.
Don’t grab the baby’s ass, but don’t be passive. If you aren’t securely holding the bottom you’re popping off the top. What do you do if it poops while you’re holding it? You’ll probably drop it, and it’ll die with a diaper full of poop.
5. Bring the baby’s chest to your chest but don’t squeeze everything out of it.
Hold the baby close to you, but not too close, because this baby is probably so soft you’ll squish it like a handful of Play-Doh.
6. Allow the baby to rest its head on your chest even though it will hear your racing heart and your fear will be exposed.
You’d better hope babies like the sounds of racing heartbeats — if the baby realizes you’re as scared as you are it may jump right out of your arms, because suicide is safer than your flimsy stems.
7. Make sure the baby’s head faces one side so that he or she can breathe because you’re likely suffocating it.
You’re probably holding it so hard that you’re crushing its lungs in the first place. Is it even breathing? Constantly check for its breath.
8. Gently rock the baby, even though moving it at all is surely sealing its fate.
Although you are positive any movement at all would surely break the baby into multiple pieces, babies apparently like to be gently rocked back and forth. Too hard, and you come across another instance of the head popping off like a Pringles top. Too gently, and it will cry. How it’s not crying right now is a complete surprise.
9. If the baby cries or acts fussy, first try handing it off; if no one takes it, try holding the baby in a different position because apparently people like watching you play with fire.
As if all the fear and work that went into holding it in the first position wasn’t enough, you are expected to move the baby, even though you will likely touch the part of it that causes all its limbs to fall off and its heart to explode.
10. After someone finally takes the baby off your hands, say, “That was easy, you’re right,” and then go throw up.
You didn’t kill the baby, congratulations, but that’s just because you got lucky, and you and the baby know it.