I hold the belief that it is generally very bad to be a willful idiot.
Ignorance is toxic, and so to choose to stay ignorant is the epitome of human irresponsibility. As bad as pulling the trigger on another person, ignorance kills. Psychologically, spiritually and physically. It is deadly to one’s self and to others.
But laying ignorance aside, I also believe that it is sometimes good to be an idiot. There are types of idiocy that do no harm to others. That are healthy for the soul. One such idiocy is the way we act with children.
Whether you’re a normal person or a humanoid tasked with the cruel mission of pretending to know how to do this whole human emotions thing like me, children (more specifically babies), usually elicit pretty strong reactions from people. You either are made super uncomfortable by them and want to stay as far away as possible from their drooling, babbling existences. Or, you are reduced to a cooing mess of squealing glee.
Surprisingly, I fall into the latter category.
Or maybe not so surprisingly. I’m a teacher by trade so obviously I have an affinity for children, but I don’t think my general temperament suggests as much.
I adore babies.
Every time I come into contact with one, I am made more aware of that fact. It’s funny how much different I react to these humans, simply by virtue of them being smaller and more innocent. Their cluelessness rings of lack of life experience rather than willful ignorance or carelessness. For example,
inability to say my name because you lack knowledge of phonemes? Cute.
forgetting my name after the millionth time I’ve told you? Annoying.
inability to sit up on your own because your limbs are just so darn chubby and you lack balance? Precious.
sitting in a way that takes up a bunch of space even though there are clearly people in need of a place to sit? Rude.
Babies can get away with things that older humans just can’t. If a grown man threw up on me I’d probably punch them in the face. But when a baby does it, “Aw, it’s alright. The poor thing has indigestion.” I mean, even saliva, one of the most disgusting and bacteria-ridden substances in the human body, rendered endearing when it’s from a baby. Even a germophobe like me finds a way to rationalize my way out of it in the most irrational way possible. “No, no. It’s fine. It’s from a baby. Even though it’s seeped its way into most of my clothes and probably 70% of my hands’ surface area, I’m still clean. Babies don’t have germs.”
They’re manipulative sons of guns without even trying.
“What’s that? You want to ruin my night of sleep in intervals of one hour because I don’t even know what since you have a clean diaper, I fed you one second ago, you’re not sick, and have a comfortable place to sleep? But yes, of course I’ll giggle with you in the morning when you smile after letting out a toot. Your body proportions are comedically stunted and you have that adorable fresh pampers smell.”
If I think too hard on the things I get excited about when babies are around I want to get my head checked. For who else could I clap my hands and squawk in delight for recognizing that moving the left foot forward, must be what comes after moving the right one in order to travel across space?
It’s ridiculous. But they get me to do it.
I turn into a joyous buffoon every single time. And I thank them for it. It’s the kind of nonsensical idiocy I devolve into that makes the world seem a little brighter and a little less serious. Babies remind us that we were all blubbering morons at one point in time and the only real difference is that we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking we know more because we can chew food all by ourselves and stick our special parts into other people’s special places. Babies give us a chance to cheer ourselves on without knowing it’s us we’re cheering for.