Babies are tiny, squidgy bundles of joy, and the pudgy little things tend to bring happiness to the majority of people. Yes, their cuteness is undeniable, but what is it that makes them quite so irresistible?
Well, scientific research reveals that there a few factors involved – and it’s not an accident that babies are cute. In fact, their physical features were designed especially to help them survive in the big wide world.
The secret lies in their adorable big eyes. Specifically, babies’ eyes are actually fully grown by the time they’re born, and this evokes an illusion of helplessness which encourages adults to care for the vulnerable baby.
Why then, did one grandmother from South America not feel the same way about her grandson? The story begins in a maternity clinic in Santa Marta, Colombia. Recently, a baby boy was born there.
Most grandparents would be overcome with pride at the news of a safe arrival in the family. The baby would then be coo-ed over, and everyone would tell the parents that their little one is beautiful. Even if, in reality, it’s a bit wrinkly and purple, as newborns often are.
But one unnamed grandmother took serious offense when she first met her grandson. In fact, she believed that he was not aesthetically pleasing at all. And instead of biting her tongue, this granny couldn’t keep her thoughts secret.
The woman was, in fact, very vocal in her disgust. And then she did something with her grandson that no one would have expected. Moreover, her actions made the headlines internationally.
Unbelievably, this grandmother took her grandson and returned to the clinic where he was born. She was adamant when telling staff members there that no one in her family could have produced a child so ugly. But that wasn’t all.
Incredibly, she actually tried to leave the child with them, and the irate woman accused the medical team of swapping her real grandson with another baby. The staff members at the clinic obviously denied any wrongdoing.
In fact, they told her that her grandson was the only boy born that day in the hospital. Therefore, there was no chance that there’d been a mix-up. The child was part of her family, whether she liked it or not.
“The grandmother was not very happy,” said Carlos Pallares, city council health secretary for Santa Marta in a January 2017 statement. “She did not identify the baby as a new member of the family and therefore she decided to come back to the clinic along with the mother of the baby to return him.”
So what happened next? Well, the clinic staff examined the boy and told the grandmother that there was nothing wrong with him. They handed the baby back to her and the mother, who was with them.
Pallares said the grandmother must now stop questioning the identity of her grandchild. He explained, “The situation should be accepted. Sometimes biology, genetics play a role in these mistakes and we should accept them.”
There is more to this story, however. As outrageous as the grandmother’s actions were, a city council spokesperson defended the disgruntled woman. The Daily Mail further reported that the woman had a history of psychological problems.
Consequently, the public was encouraged not to berate the woman too much. As for the baby boy, it was decided he was perfectly healthy. He’s now returned home with his family, according to the Daily Mirror.
The story attracted substantial media attention nonetheless, with lots of negative reaction from the public. One Daily Mail reader, clearly disgruntled by the story, expressed their thoughts online. They wrote, “Every baby is a beautiful miracle. She is a horrible old woman.”
Some readers saw the lighter side of it, though. “Someone needs to tell her that the money-back guarantee only works in department stores, not maternity clinics,” another Daily Mail reader wryly commented.
Fortunately, though, it was clear that the baby in this story was not swapped with another newborn. However, there have been instances where it has happened for real. Indeed, in 2015 Mercy Casanellas and Richard Cushworth were finally reunited with their biological son after a mix-up.
Casanellas gave birth to a baby boy in an El Salvador hospital, only to realize that the couple had been sent home with the wrong baby. DNA samples later proved that there was zero chance he was theirs, and it then took authorities three months to successfully track down their real son through further DNA testing.
Although the grandmother in this story had quite an unusual reaction to her newborn relative, it’s not uncommon to think that babies are little funny looking. The difference is that most of us are able to keep those thoughts to ourselves…