Guest blogger Karyn Bryant on coming face to face with a baby who's less than a looker.
I know all babies are "beautiful and special" and all that, but have you ever been introduced to a baby who was, honestly, not that cute? You look up with trepidation to see proud parents waiting for the compliments. So, what do you say? Conventional wisdom says to lie like a steroid-bloated baseballer at a congressional hearing and say, "He's/She's gorgeous!"
But I say there's a way to sound like you're giving a compliment without having to cross your fingers behind your back. My English teacher recommended to me years ago, "Now that's a baby!" The beauty of this is that the blob in the Bugaboo is, most likely, in fact a baby. No lie there! And by giving it a bit of enthusiasm the parents will hear, "That is simply the most perfect specimen of humanity I've ever seen!" It's a win-win for both parties if you ask me. Feel free to try these out:
You Say: "Oh my goodness, you must be so excited!"
You Mean: At least the little monster isn't making your feet swell any more.
You say: "Look at those eyes!"
You mean: That's the only thing I don't mind looking at.
You say: "He looks just like your husband!"
You mean: He looks just like your husband. Too bad.
You say: "She's a doll!"
You mean: "Like one of those Bratz. Yuck.
You say: "He's precious."
You mean: We all love something no one else does.
You say: "She's amazing/incredible/unbelievable/astonishing/extraordinary!"
You mean: I really hope my baby doesn't look like that.
There are probably countless ways to sound complimentary without actually compromising yourself. I'd love to hear some new suggestions if anyone has any. Right now though, I've got to decide if I should chew out the lady who said my daughter's hair was "remarkable"....