Friday, December 3, 2010

Resistance is Futile

Konrad Lorenz was a man who thought a lot about babies. He was a researcher who, about sixty years ago, put forth the idea that babies are cute for a very specific reason. It turns out that all of Violet’s features that I find so adorable have a purpose. The large head perched atop the disproportionately small body, the big eyes and small, short nose set low on the face, the round and soft body features – the cyclone of cuteness that all babies possess is designed by nature to turn us adults into jelly. Lorenz, and researchers since, proved to a considerable degree, that baby features trigger nurturing responses in adults. They’re evolutionary adaptations that ensure adults will care for the offspring of their species. What’s more, babies of other species have gotten in on the act – it’s the reason so many people can’t say no to a free kitten. One look in those big, round eyes and biology kicks in. Scientists even discovered similar traits in a baby triceratops skull. Knowing all this probably won’t help me say no when my little girl asks me for something she doesn’t need, but it might help me feel better if and when I give in. You can’t fight evolution.

13 days old

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