Friday, September 2, 2011

Who does the baby look like?

‘Your baby has not got a thing from you! She looks completely like her father’

This was the remark made by a person who had come to see Bunni during early days of my post pregnancy. I was very happy with the second statement. (I still am) But, if someone is going to tell me that my baby who shared my flesh, who got all the nutrients required for the development of EVERY cell in her body, has not got ANYTHING at all from me. I am not taking it. 

Come on, it is easy for someone to say that I should ignore such statements. After carrying the baby for 9 whole months, after going through hours of painful labour, if one has to take such a statement, it is disgusting. I am not a saadhvi to overcome the emotional attachment or to abandon the worldly ties.

First of all, I do not understand why people make insensitive proclamations on a sensitive issue? If the mother is going through post pregnancy depression (courtesy: hormones) then the effects can be horrifying. I cannot even draw comparison to the hurt or the annoyance the mother experiences.

Second statement was not a problem at all. I had guessed that people would say that the child looks like his/her father. Because I had read a report that said 95% of the time, if asked, people will say ‘The baby looks like his/her father’. That is because everyone knows that the mother has popped out the baby, so to secure the father in the family. This is a social thing. This may be true, may not be; But the veracity of this case maybe quite unlike. But, I was prepared for that.  More over, I wanted my baby to look like BH.

On the closing note, instead of making such stupid idiotic statements, people can just SHUT UP! We will at least be happy that they came to see the baby.

I always believe 
“If I can’t make someone happy, I will at least not make them sad.”


  1. Nice post! Everyone makes this remarks. I am also guilty of making the same remark to other people.

  2. @NonaI so like your honesty :) Thank you.

  3. I like your take on it. Everyone has something to say and I always say keeping the mouth shut is a very difficult thing. We should learn a lesson from your last line and never make people sad.:)

  4. Hmm... I never knew that this hurts women so much. And, for that matter, nobody that makes such comments (including women) would know that it would hurt the mothers so much. Anyways, now that I know, have to be extra cautious on this. Enlightening one.

    And, I am not sure how many such visits that I made after going through all the pains of our traffic were screwed up with this kind of comments. :(

  5. hahahah.. reading this post I have a feeling u wanna punch the nose of that person lol... nicely poured out Sahana...:) :) :)

  6. "Your baby has not got a thing from you! She looks completely like her father".

    Sahana, to me, there seems nothing wrong in that statement. The second part of the statement should be understood as first, actually.

    When said your baby has not got a thing from you, it means the phenotype and not the genotype. When you are 'fine' with the second part of the statement, it is obvious that you should agree on the first. To me, both the sentences convey the same meaning - 'the baby looks like her father'.

    We might have learned 'science'; well. For that, we shouldn't always be prepared to do a postmortem of every single statement a common man makes. Instead, we should try to pick the actual meaning they try to convey.

    Am sure the person who made that statement might have never wanting to say the baby didn't get any nutrients/genes from you or something. It just was the appearance what was the main concern.

    It's just my way of thinking; hope my words didn't hurt you. If it did, just push the 'Delete Comment' button :o)

  7. Nice one, Sahana. I can really understand the sentiments you have expressed - for the first 1.5 years of my daughter's life everyone used to say "She looks JUST like her dad!" But to emphasize that she does not look like you at the moment - that's definitely an unnecessary addition to remarking about the resemblance to her dad.

    I didn't mind too much to begin with, but got on the nerves sometimes. But to make up for it, from the time she was around 2 upto now(6 years) everyone says she looks JUST like me ;). Also my son who's 3.5 looks JUST like me too according to lots of people so I end up feeling bad for hubby sometimes :) !!

  8. Thanks for the enlightening post Sahana.

    Will be extra careful while talking to expecting mothers, or mothers who have recently delivered, in the future.

  9. " I always say keeping the mouth shut is a very difficult thing." How true Saru. I never thought about it. I liked the comment.. Thanks a lot. :)

  10. @BHARATHIRAJA Rightly said BHA, "nobody that makes such comments (including women) would know that it would hurt the mothers so much". I agree. Only when I was on the receiving side, I realized.

    Let us think, that you ended up saying only the second statement. :)
    which will not hurt usually.

  11. @Prashanth Prashanth, first of all, I honour your opinion. Everyone is entitled to have his/her opinion.

    Choosing the words to convey something is extremely important Prashanth. As you said, I get the meaning of the first statement after postmortem. But, at that moment, when the emotions rule over the mind; one should be conscious about the statement they make.

    There is a huge variation in the hormones level after the delivery Prashanth. It plays so much on the emotions. That is common across all women. Maybe, people do not know that when they talk. So, I chose to write this post.

    At that time, it did really hurt me.

    And if just appearance was the concern, the second statement would have conveyed the meaning. There was not need to make a negative remarks. It is always better to say that there is half glass of water than half glass is empty. That gives a lot of positive feeling.
    Don't you think so?

  12. @Aparna You have completely empathized with me.
    Making negative remarks is absolutely a 'NO-NO'..
    Ahh.. Actually, my daughter resembles my mother and MIL. Hubby resembled his mother more as a kid, so, people tend to observe that similarity.
    And people who have seen me from childhood say, that she is my xerox copy. Because I resemble my mother.
    It is just perspective. :)

    Am so glad you shared your opinion. :)

  13. great observation about an aspect of social behaviour that stinks. great one!

  14. true...i thought the girl's family think the baby resembles the mom, while the guys family thinks that the baby resembles the father coz the baby probably has a mix look of both, and one sees what one wants to see...

  15. i was surprised by your comment to Aparna because it is the exact same thing in my case too :))
    if u see the black & white photos in my FB, i am xerox of my mother & Tanvi,in her baby photos, is xerox of me. in fact, some friends even said that the photo of my mother holding me is actually like me holding Tanvi !

    reg the post: TRUE. i went through the same feelings too. i used to feel bad that they were stressing the lines, "nim thara illa avlu". what do u mean ??? i wanted to scream!! it seemed like some of them got some sadistic pleasure in saying the baby doesn't resemble the mother. your post took me back to all those emotions & days.

    plus i raised my daughter from inception to today(5 years), single-handed, doing A-Z things, all alone. so it hurt me more. that too when people who knew it said something like that.
    i had written a post on it. chk it out:

    nice post Sahana
    its very difficult to correctly put in words the emotions we go through at such times & you've tried to. some may understand, some may not.

  16. Nice one Sahana!!I am guilty of this comment to many people. but i never realized my statement could hurt somebody!

  17. How can someone say that.. moreover a babcy changes every day.. I cant find any thing resembling in a baby child .. yeah once they grow up we can see similarities but not at very early age ...

    And a baby will look like someone as such they have the parents genes...


  18. sigh! people :) your baby has N% of you for sure....sheer science :D

  19. Some people think no end of themselves and just because they can speak, voice out their opinions and force it on others. Some people can never appreciate one person, without hurting another. Sigh.

  20. Oh that is sad.. my sister felt the same way!!

  21. Sahana, what you said is right. We can always tell about a negative thing in positive way. But, expecting it from the society is too much I guess.

    For that matter, people tend to tell positive things in negative sense. So, can we expect the converse??

  22. I guess it matters less.. the thing which matters most is the new born baby.. and biologically the baby is blessed with parts of both father and mother .

    Weakest LINK

  23. You've enlightened me on this post... Now I should think before making any such statement in life :-)

    PS: Recently, to one of my cousin, I said the baby looks exactly like her. Fortunately her husband was not there :p

  24. I especially feel like punching those jobless aunties who come and say 'Oh, the baby doesn't have the father's colour. *tch tch* The father is SO fair. Must've got it from the mother's side." It's a baby, for god's sake. They're beautiful any which way. Just leave them alone yaar!!

  25. Sahana, Some people dont know the way to express what they need to convey and the problem lies there. If conveyed properly then I dont see an issue if the baby has got a thing from mom or from dad. Nice post and liked the various perspectives of the fellow readers.

  26. Bunni looks very cute and exactly like her father ;)

    Hooooooo ha ha ha I know have started search to find where I am currently and come here and kill me :D

    Anyways I love the way you have vented out your frustration, But note down such dialogues u will have awesome time laughing at them cause they make some baseless comments which are total nonsense

  27. @Neeraj Kumar Thank you Neeraj.. More influenced by experience. :)

  28. @SUB Observation!! You are right. Everyone looks at the world with their own lens. I wonder if we can start with a clean slate?

  29. @Sujatha Sathya Ahh! DITTO DITTO emotions Sujatha.

    I ran back to the FB page to check out what you said. What you said is right. Tanvi resembles Sujatha baby a lot.

    Yeah, will checkout the link.

  30. @Upasana Oh dear.. Even I didn't know till I was on the receiving end.
    No problem. I liked your honesty. Henceforth, be a little careful when you comment. :)

    Thanks for sharing your views Upasana.

  31. aah haan..

    People should not just SHUT UP they should SHUT THE F**K UP!!! :P

  32. @Bikramjit Yeah, even I wonder. I don't understand at all.

  33. @Chintan :D I don't mind if the value of N is 0.00001 Chintan. Even that is a number! :P

  34. @Ashwini Ahh.. So rightly said Ashwini. They stress on their opinion so much, they get excited so much that they don't even bother to lend you an ear.
    Maybe that is true.
    "Some people can never appreciate one person, without hurting another. "

  35. @KP Poor thing. Must have felt really bad. You can understand better. :(

  36. @Prashanth Maybe I cannot expect that Prashanth, I have tried enlightening few souls.
    I have done my "aLilu seve"

    Even if there is 1 soul who doesn't get hurt because of this article, the post is worth publishing.

  37. @Rachit Yes. People think there are more important things.
    Sad that they don't understand.
    Thanks a lot Rachit for sharing your views. :)

  38. @Anand Good God! The husband was not there! :P
    Am glad if I did that. :)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

  39. @Spaceman Spiff Let us shake hands. We share same thoughts. Next time we see such aunties, we both will think of each other and gives a punch with double strength. what say? :P

    Thanks for joining thoughts. :)

  40. @ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ/ Ashwini Exactly Ashwini. They should know how to convey things.
    Nice to know that you enjoyed. :) Thank you.. :)

  41. @Ramya If Bunni is cute, then she has to look like me Ramya, I really think hubby dear is handsome and not cute :D :D

    Thank you. Good that I posted. I need not remember. ;)

  42. @Arpit Rastogi How I wanted use that word Arpit. But, did not want to use that in my post. The post is received by varied audience, so kept it low.
    Anyway, I liked your comment. Thank you! ;)

  43. ha ha.. This is called the F-effect.. :D

  44. Well, sometimes people do speak without thinking what they are speaking or what would it literally mean... If they really mean it then one or the other way they will get it back evantually!

    “If I can’t make someone happy, I will at least not make them sad.” Very well said..

  45. In fact, I have heard same sentences from many and still continue hearing it.. But (un)fortunately my little girl got all my bad behaviors.. and stole the heights of naughtiness from me so that I won't hear it anymore...ha ha! :P

  46. @Sunil Padiyar
    Once bitten, twice shy as they say. I have experienced this. So, I will be extra careful when I voice my opinions. :)

    Good observation Sunil. :)

  47. @Nishana That is great news Nishana!
    Lots of love to Liya! More naughtier more fun.
    I am telling this out of my experience! ;)

  48. What do I do when people look at my beautiful daughter and say "wow she looks nothing like you and who has she taken her looks from." I don't know whether to be happy that they are praising my daughter's good looks or to be sad that they think I am not good looking enough. Actually I don't care a damn. I just love my daughter and I am raising her with my values and spirit so at the end of the day she will be my daughter.

  49. People have nothing to loose by passing these insensible comments and so they continue doing it..Here is my experiene on the same -

    But people say,what do they say, Let them say...Just absorb the good and leave the rest...

  50. @Swapna That should be the attitude Swapna. After few such moments we tend to become thick skinned.

  51. @zradar Rightly said! Slowly I did develop that attitude. But, this is an account of how I felt during my early days of post pregnancy!


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Acronyms and Definitions

BH: Better Half. Butter Half. Bitter Half.

BUNNI: Manufactured Daughter.

APPA: Role-Model Father.

AMMA: Near and Dear Mother.

CHD: Partner in Crime. Brother.


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