“The Difficulties of Raising a Modern American Baby” by Cari Gornik

Your baby’s getting ugly, they told me, but don’t worry it’s probably a phase.

It’s the unibrow, said Marcy. When he’s older you can get rid of it. They have lasers, wax, tweezers. You can shave it off while he’s little. And he’ll grow into that head, said Jacob. Just hope it’s before he starts learning to walk. Proportions are everything. And don’t all babies have red blotchy skin? asked Ken. My sister’s kid always looks like he’s been swimming around in poison ivy. She uses hydrocortisone cream on him before we take photos. I use this great mineral makeup to hide my redness, suggested Daisy, her face powdered to porcelain perfection.

Every morning, I caked powder on his cheeks, and the redness vanished, but sometimes it made him look too pale, so I’d brush his face with some bronzer. Usually he’d laugh as the brush tickled his skin. And he’d always sneeze. That’s how I could tell I had put just enough on. He’d sneeze and his skin would look perfect, like he’d been touched up for a magazine.

But then he started developing cankles.

I think all he needs is a good diet, said Kelly, who has one daughter and one son, all Gerber material. Give him nothing but beets and bananas for a month. That’ll take care of it.

So I put him on the beet and banana diet. The first month didn’t make a difference. Soon he refused to open his mouth for the beets. The sight of them made him cry. Kelly suggested blending the two together. That seemed to trick him just enough into eating it for another month. That’s when I started to see a real difference. His stomach was going down. Within three months, he was at his goal stomach diameter. Oh he looks so much better, gushed Marcy. But I think it might be making his head look bigger. And his feet are really growing, noted Jacob.

Yes, in fact his feet had gotten two sizes bigger.

Well all that fat from his stomach had to go somewhere, said Jenny. What did you expect? You have to get him working out. My baby used to do the Baby Einstein workout, replied Mark. They learn numbers while they do air bicycle exercises on their backs. And make sure he’s doing all the exercises everyday or they won’t make a bit of difference, added his wife Janice, whose three kids did ads for Baby Gap.

So everyday for a half hour he’d do air bicycle exercises and baby boy pull ups while Wheels on the Bus and Old McDonald played in the background. It just didn’t seem to help. He kept getting worse! He was, however, starting to develop a good tone, and I hoped that would be enough. He could impress the world with his strength.

Then I noticed something funny about his ears.

Oh ears, those are easy to fix. Just get some double sided tape to keep them back. He can have those permanently corrected when he’s older, suggested Kim, who doesn’t have kids, but has raised several prize winning schnauzers. If the tape doesn’t hold use super glue, she added.

So I got some extra strength, super strong, double sided tape. And bought mineral make-up in bulk. I carefully  shaved his unibrow every night. And made him some extra wide pants to make his feet look smaller. And I always put him in a big hat, again, proportions are everything. And I kept him on the beet and banana diet. And he did air bicycles and baby boy pull ups for an hour everyday. I did what everyone said I was supposed to do. I even bleached his hair, because blue eyes and blonde hair is a better sell – that tip I got from Rita, who has no children or pets, but is very opinionated.

More fiction at Used Furniture.


  1. Crazy funny, loved it.

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