Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What is a good baby?

I've had several people ask me if Cecilia is a "good" baby. I know what they mean. They mean, "Does Cecilia sleep several hours at a time at night?" and "Does she eat a lot?" and "Does she not cry much?" Now the honest answers to these questions are sometimes, a reasonable amount, and depends. What they are getting at is a simple inquiry as to if Cecilia is doing well or thriving. The answer to this would be yes. But I find myself hesitating if someone asks me if she is a "good" baby. Perhaps it is the theologion and philosopher in me, but when I think of a person as good or bad I think of their choices, their intentions and the moral state of their life. My daughter is almost 4 months old and a bit young to know enough to make any choice. All she has right now are desires and the instinct to want those desires met whether they be hunger satisfied or the ability to move about on her own accomplished. So I don't think of Cecilia any more as a good baby than I think of her as a bad baby. She is a baby. She nurses and smiles and coos and burps and spits up and drools. These are what a baby does. Yes, she is a very good baby in the sense she is good at acting like a baby, but I know of no baby that isn't. She nurses and smiles and coos and burps and spits up and drools very well.

So, as I think about the question more each time I am asked it, I find it, in reality, to be a bit of an odd question, but I know what people mean when they ask it.

So my definitive answer to, "Is Cecilia a good baby?" is:

She is a wonderful, amazing, intelligent, inquisitive, gentle, happy, precious angel of a baby and good doesn't begin to describe her.

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