Is She Good?

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

As I introduce Baby B to the world, I am noticing more and more that the question I first get asked by many is “Is she good?”

Yesterday we went around The Boy’s office to introduce her to all his colleagues.  He proudly showed off his baby daughter to multitudes of cooing women (who eagerly embraced her and threatened never to give her back) and slightly nervous looking men (who quickly declined having a hold of her and scuttled off), and I was asked “Is she good?” time and time again.

So, is she good?

“No,” I said, repeatedly.  Then, on sight of their slightly nervous faces I insisted, “Don’t worry she’s not evil either…”

No, evil is a term a would never say about an innocent little baby.  I reserve that for the three year old.

Can a baby be good?  Not really… I mean she’s gorgeous, she’s cute, she is content to be handed around people and cuddled, she’ll happily snooze in her moses basket by the sofa, and she’s healthy.  But she also poops loudly and constantly, often filling her nappy just moments after a fresh one has been put on, and then repeating that process several times.  She wakes up all night to feed, and often chooses the exact moment I need to go and do a poo myself to declare her desperate need for a boob and scream assertions that she is horribly neglected and I’m a terrible mother,

But neither of those things are good or bad.  They’re just baby.  She’s not making decisions, she’s just biologically reacting.  She’s a little human reaction machine.  She needs to poop at inconvenient moments, she needs to be fed a lot.  Eating, pooping and sleeping are the orders of business in a three week old’s life and none of them are good or bad.

So what do people mean when they ask me if she’s good?  I was asked if she’s sleeping through yet and I just laughed.  No she’s not sleeping through!  She’s three weeks old!  Is she feeding well? I’ll be asked.  Well yes, she feeds a lot.  A lot a lot.  All night in fact.  But that doesn’t make her good… that makes her biologically programmed to survive and physically capable of breastfeeding with ease… neither of those things are positive or negative assertions about her character.

Nobody asks me if Miss Rose is good and she’s certainly very capable of not being good, and exercising her ability to choose that course of action.  She’s also very capable of being completely golden and adorable… a course of action I’d actually be grateful for her to choose more often.  Bless her evil doing little heart.  But it’s not questioned.  They ask what she likes, if she enjoys school, what her favourite food is.  Her character isn’t questioned… the baby’s character is questioned.

So, is Baby B good?  No.  No she is not.  And I will continue to tell people that and feel slight amusement at their faces.  But she’s not evil.  And I suppose technically Miss Rose isn’t evil either… it’s just sometimes harder to convince me of that one.  Basically they’re both gorgeous little girls whom I adore with all my heart and both have a world of potential inside them, just Miss Rose is closer to achieving her potential than Baby B.

I can’t tell you she’s good.   I can tell you I love her.  I can’t tell you Miss Rose is good either, but that’s for entirely different reasons.  But I can tell you I love her too.  I love them immeasurably and I believe their futures are full of goodness.  But, whilst they’re kids, it’s not top of the list of ways I’d describe them.

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