Evolution works! (Or: Five reasons why babies are cute)

A flashback from three years ago when Rebecca was a baby.

I’m not really going to get into a theory of evolution debate here—really, the more appropriate headline would be “Natural selection works.” I totally believe that and I see evidence of it in my everyday life (“natural selection” is just a lot longer than “evolution”).

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Genetics at work: my mother and my daughter

As a mother of very young children, I can tell you exactly how demanding and frustrating babies and toddlers can be—but I’ve come to believe that a babies’ cuteness is, in fact, an inherited defense mechanism against some of their most motherly-frustration-inducing behaviors. My evidence:

  1. Cuddling: Although waking me for the eighth time in six hours is decidedly not a good way into my good graces, a quiet, sweet, snuggling baby is pretty tough to stay angry at.
  2. Gurgling giggles: It’s five AM and the infant thinks it’s time to get up for the day. But before I can burst into tears, she sees my face and wham—instant gales of excited laughter. Even if I’m not quite as happy to see her at that hour, it’s hard not to forgive her when she’s just so happy to see me.
  3. Nap time: When I reach my wits’ end, I know it’s time for a nap (for me and/or the kids ;) ). This can be a double whammy, especially if the baby or toddler is obviously tired but still averse to said nap, and spends half an hour screaming—because when they finally succumb to the much-needed sleep, it’s all the sweeter to peek in on the peacefully slumbering angel (and pray it lasts!).
  4. Baby talk: Sure, you can argue their articulatory muscles aren’t fully developed enough to appreciate the nuances of the lateral approximate, but let’s face it: somewhere in his DNA, my son knows that “I yub you!” melts even an annoyed heart faster than plain old “I love you.”
  5. Stoic tears: Okay, this one might not be entirely genetic, but who wouldn’t forgive a tantrum from tiny child who bravely insists that he must wipe his own tears?

What other naturally cute behaviors have you seen that totally take the wind out of your frustration?

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