Ok, I need you to be honest with me. Does my baby look like Woody Allen? I’m serious. Last night, I was watching the American Masters documentary on Woody Allen and I think I had a mini-epiphany. I think Dylan looks like Woody Allen did when he was a baby. I say I think because my perspective is clouded. I mean: he’s my baby. Of course I think he’s adorable…but how is cuteness possible if he looks like Woody Allen?
Maybe during the first few months of a child’s life there’s some voodoo magic that prevents parents from seeing their babies clearly, so they’ll endure the agony of sleep deprivation and parasitic behavior. Maybe that’s why everyone thinks their baby is beautiful, while others whisper behind their backs that it looks like an alien. Maybe this is where the idiom “a face only a mother could love” comes from. Oh my God. Has Dylan made me mother-blind?
I’m not proud of this…but I may have evidence to prove this “mother-blind” theory. You see, before Dylan was born, Josh liked to apologize preemptively to people about how unattractive our baby was going to be. I know it sounds terrible, but, in Josh’s defense, he claimed he was just trying to be realistic. When I would challenge him on it, he simply argued that “not all babies are cute, and ours will be one of the unfortunate few.” His reasoning? “Look at my lips, and your forehead,” he’d say. “Our child may be an attractive adult, but he will not be a cute baby.”
So…what did Josh think when Dylan was born? Well, like every new parent, he thought his son was beautiful. But therein lies the problem. Logically, if Josh can be heard saying “You are really cute, honey” when he holds Dylan in his arms at night, then he, too, is “mother-blind.” Further complicating things are other people’s opinions. Unfortunately, one of the challenges with judging cuteness is that when your baby is born, the first people to visit him are your friends and family, so even if they say he’s cute, they’re not being objective. It seems there is no way to truly tell if your baby is cute or not.
But who cares, right? So what if my baby looks like Woody Allen. We still think he’s adorable and love him to pieces. And, who knows – maybe he’ll turn out to be a prolific writer and talented clarinetist one day. Just as long as no one can call him Daddy-Hubby, I’ll be happy.
Woody Allen as a baby
Dylan with Grandpa & Grandma Houlihan