I have had an epiphany. Panda bears are like babies. Babies are like pandas. Bear with me. (ha)
The other day I tweeted this picture and had the following exchange with my friend Kyran:
And that’s when I realized: BABIES ARE LIKE PANDAS.
See, I’ve long been convinced that cuteness is pretty much the only thing keeping pandas alive at this point. I once visited a panda exhibit at the Memphis Zoo and learned that pandas, biologically, should be omnivores. They have the teeth and the digestive system necessary to digest both plants and meat, like every other bear. But pandas, they are not so into the meat eating. In fact, they are like the hipster vegans of the animal world. They’re like, listening to Morrisey and munching on roughage instead of hunting some prey, and as a result, they have to literally eat bamboo all day long, just to get enough calories to stay alive. This means that all they do is eat and sleep, because they basically don’t have the energy to do anything else. I mean, do pandas even mate in the wild anymore? I’ve read about zoos basically having to use panda pornography to try and convince their pandas to get it on. And would we even be going to all this trouble to save pandas (who clearly don’t WANT to be saved), if pandas weren’t one of the cutest things in the world? Nope. Cute: it’s keeping pandas alive.
Same thing happens with babies. Nature gives them giant heads and googly eyes and thigh rolls so that we will want to keep them alive, because Lord knows they can’t do it themselves. Claire, for example, seems determined to kill herself with her favorite thing in the world: food. At least once during a feed, she will either try to breathe milk– perhaps she loves it so much, breathing it seems to be the next best thing to eating it–or will suck the nipple so far down her throat that she gags herself. Meanwhile Etta, like many babies, seems determined to fling her giant head around and hurl her body out of our arms on a regular basis. And so we spend all our time trying to keep these very cute and possibly suicidal tiny beings alive. Because they’re adorable.
Babies are the pandas of the human world. Pandas are the babies of the animal kingdom. Cuteness is the only thing ensuring the continued survival of both.