I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon lately. Sometimes, when I am away from my 6 month old for a few hours, after I return she somehow looks even cuter than when I left. Like, I’ll leave already thinking she’s adorable, but when I return the cuteness seems to have increased and I’ll be overwhelmed by it. I got home the other day, grabbed Hazel’s grinning face and said, “I keep thinking you’ve reached peak cuteness, but you keep outdoing yourself!”
Of course, I’m her mother, so that may not be too surprising. She might actually look like a monster baby to everyone else, while my mommy brain just sees an illusion of supreme cuteness. But Mike, her father, agrees—and aren’t men supposed to be less affected by sappy stuff like this? He’s also a scientist, so when I started to wonder if it was quantifiable, he actually graphed her cuteness:
So here is the very scientific graph of the ups and downs of Hazel’s cuteness since birth, on a scale of one to three baby polar bears (who could resist the snuggly-looking but probably ferocious Knut, pictured?). And despite what I just said about the blindness of mothers, even I recognized that my baby’s comeliness dropped around 3 weeks of age, when she went through her “Pizzaface” stage that happens to a lot of newborns: She got baby acne because my hormones were still swirling through her tiny little body. She had zits ALL over her face. It was pretty gnarly, and after a week of that I started to wonder, Is this just the way it’s going to be from now on? Will my baby have a lifetime of disgusting pimples?
But slowly the acne went away, and then her cheeks filled out, and she started giggling, which only amplified the cuteness. Then this morning, as she held a pacifier in her mouth with one hand and grabbed her toes with the other, all the while somehow smiling with her entire face, I wondered again, Surely this is the peak cuteness!
Mike and I surveyed our friends who have cute kids, and the consensus seems to be that true peak cuteness doesn’t actually occur until around 2 to 3 years old, which means Hazel will surely make me puke from her crazy cuteness before then. What do you think? Is Hazel peaking too soon? Are 4-year-olds washed up? When was your baby’s peak cuteness?
Knut photo by Jens Koßmagk, available via Wikimedia Commons under the license CC-by-sa-2.0-de