Ripe for the Changing

"Here, hold her," my friend said as she held out her baby.

"No, thanks," I said.

"Oh, come one, she likes you!"

The baby smiled at me with a goofy baby grin.

"No, really, she'll break somehow," I said.

I knew that as soon as I held the kid there would be an earthquake. The shaking ground would pop her out of my arms and out the window into the bushes below. "Come on, surely you've held a baby before?" my friend said.

Mothers always want me to hold their babies. They think it will get me all excited about babies and maybe I'll run out the door to a beautiful woman at the Sky Bar and yell, "Hey, I just held a baby! It was wonderful! Whaddya say we have 5 or 6 of our own???!!"

Babies aren't built for holding. The baby head is too big for the baby body. It swivels and swings around like a tetherball. The hands are too small to grip on anything well so they hold on to your ears and twist them like they are tuning a radio. It would be easier if you could grab them by the back of the neck like a cat picks up a kitten. Or there should be handles on their shoulders like a bowling ball bag.

Once I attempted to hold my sister's baby. I held her at arm's length like a bottle of nitroglycerin. "You're doing it all wrong. Hold her like this," my sister said, taking her highly explosive baby back to demonstrate. "You put your arm underneath her butt to support her."

Just then my brother-in-law chimed in, "Honey, did she go yet?" Go? Where is the kid going to go. She's 8 months old. My sister hoisted the kid in the air and sniffed the back end of her $499 Baby Gap overalls. "No, she's fine." This is a major topic of conversation among parents- waste management. Did she go? When was the last time she went? Does she need changing? Then they hold her up and smell her and thump her butt like a melon at Safeway. Yeah, she's ripe!

Just watching my sister sniff her daughter's butt gave me the creeps. I didn’t want to attempt holding her again until I put on a full body eco-suit like in the movie Outbreak. Or at least spray the kid down with some Lysol and hold her with yellow rubber gloves. You don't see those products in the baby Gap ads.

About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at [email protected] as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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