I regret to inform you that your baby is cute.

Let me start by stating that I work retail. Then allow me to remind you of how often a child has a screaming fit because he wants the Barbie sparkling horse accessory case. Daddy doesn't want his boy to look gay, but damn if the little tyke doesn't love glitter purple. Listening to these types of arguments between parents and toddlers ten times a day, five days a week has only added to my repulsion towards tiny humans. The drool. The snot. The blank annoying stares. The screaming for no apparent reason. The smell of bad veggies mixed with baby powder and dried spit up. Buh. I have never felt an urge to breed.

Now, cut to January of 2002. I am not an only child. I have a brother. A blonde behemoth with blue eyes and a great sense of humor. Hence he is married. He comes to my mother's house one morning with his comic delivery of the news of his wife being pregnant all planned out. Shock. Happiness. For me, worry and confusion. I could not imagine my brother being a father. He was the older male version of myself. We had talked at length about our mutual distate for offspring. But she was pregnant. It was planned. He had deviated from our mind set. He was happy and wondering how I was going to accept his addition. I didn't know, but I smiled just the same and gave an oscar worthy performance of enthusiasm.

The months passed and the wife grew and glowed. We would watch tapes of the tiny wiggling thing within her. It was fascinating and yet gross when I would realise I was looking at her uterus as well. I found myself looking at baby bibs with funny sayings embroidered onto them. In tones of pink and cream the babies world was being purchased. I was getting nervous. I was not quite sure why.

September 24th-after bearing a pregnancy through the hottest months of the summer in a house with no central air-pay dirt. Very overdue and looking quite pudgey the pink child was born to its pink wardrobe with matching shoes and burp cloths. Bouncey chairs, high chairs, car seats, and play mats designed with developmental learning colors of red, white and black. Everything was ready. So was I.

Her scaley little hands and feet didn't even scare me away. Her hair was fine and soft. Eyes clear and blue. When she yawned her tiny nose would wrinkle up. She was beautiful. My first exposure to a baby I wanted to have a connection with. Needless to say the parents were glad to see that I had this open willingness to be around and with Claire. It is what I had hoped I would be able to do. The shocker is that I don't even mind it when she cries. That maternal instinct I thought I had killed off long ago is starting to revive from its coma. My grandmother was right after all. Hate is a very strong word that should be avoided, and never say never. Everyone changes at least a few times in their lives.