Having a baby has made me revisit the evolution / religion debate. Not because of the miracle of birth (although it is a fucking miracle I survived that shitshow…) but because I just can’t believe that babies are the best that evolution can do.
We’re led to believe that humans have been improved for hundreds of thousands of years, since we walked on all fours and were covered in a thick layer of fur and had tusks, by repeated natural selection. This includes improving the ability to survive our immediate environments. If that is indeed true, why do babies cry at night, an action that does very little in favour of their survival rate?
I’m not saying that I’m likely to murder my child at 5am when I finally lose the will to keep it alive (although I did recently switch off Alexa when I realised she could hear, and likely record and transmit, all my jokes about leaving him in the bath unattended as he cried for the fifth hour). I am, however, suggesting that I need not murder him when the chances are he’ll die of negligent care before he is able to make up his own night feed.
I’m not likely to win any parenting awards between the hours of 7am and 11pm, but I’m at least conscious enough to a) give Whoopsy the basic care he needs and b) be aware of the judicial sentence for allowing an infant to expire. Come 11pm, my ability to feed my child is somewhat limited by my inability to keep my eyes open for longer than four minutes at a time. I often force them open to find the teat of his bottle in his nostril, his face looking up at me in quiet terror. The whole co-sleeping debate is lost on me as I so often drag him under the duvet to fall easily and immediately asleep in my arms as a result of oxygen loss. His nappies go unchanged as I can’t bear to leave the warmth of my bed in the depths of winter.
Backing up my belief that babies are a product of a humorous (male) God who wants to punish humans for their sins is that they are utterly incapable of survival without care from their mother or father. I can’t think of any other species which is as useless as a human child at birth. Most have at least the ability to leg it from a predator whilst my baby has no abilities other than to do the world’s best impression of a disinterested potato.
Now, I love my baby. Of course I do. And if I’m ever in court on charges of murder I’m certain this blog post will come back and bite me in the ass. All I’m saying is that babies have survived infancy for most of history because there wasn’t much to do other than sit around breastfeeding and cooing over newborns. With all the distractions of modern life – the internet, Netflix, Call of Duty, babies are really going to have to up their game to secure their parent’s attention. So kids, if you’re listening, less of the potato act. Spend those nine months in the womb learning a few party tricks, polish a handful of anecdotes to whip out in case of company and, most importantly, learn to sleep through the damn night.