Baby as an adjective

I, like most people, tend to use the word baby as an adjective when trying to demonstrate something’s diminutive nature.

For example, I might say, ‘These are some delicious baby carrots,’ while eating carrots that are smaller than normal carrots. (But I wouldn’t say that. Because I’m allergic to carrots. And baby carrots weird me out.) The same goes for anything that’s absurdly small – inanimate or animate. Baby ducks, baby mirrors, baby calendars, baby sticks of deodorant – it all means smaller versions of what one might expect.

Now that I have an actual baby, the word baby as an adjective is also very practical. For example, baby wipes are wipes used for the baby. Baby blankets are blankets used for the baby. And baby socks are socks used to hit the baby. No wait that’s not right. They’re socks for the baby. Likewise, baby hair is hair that belongs to the baby. Baby fingers are fingers that belong to the baby. And so on.

This is where things start to get confusing.

Are there any items that are both diminutive and used for or by the actual baby?

I assumed that I would find the answer to this question where one finds the answer to any philosophical question – in bodily functions.

Yes, you guessed correctly: baby farts.

Farts that come out of Baby E are definitely hers. Try as we might to blame each other or the dogs, she has already created her own distinctive brand. In that sense, the use of baby as an adjective is absolutely appropriate.

But in magnitude? Definitely not.

Baby E’s farts can only be described in words of enormous nature. Gargantuan, massive, world altering – these would all be appropriate. When a fart rips out of her butt, I have to pause for a moment to make sure that she hasn’t created a tear in the time-space continuum. The sound created by her rear end creates such massive waves that it has the capacity to change the flight path of any nearby insects. One of our dogs has actually removed himself from Baby E’s presence because of one of her farts, and he’s a dog, for crying out loud.

In short, I am having to re-think the way that I use the word baby as an adjective. Already, my daughter has got me reconsidering the English language, and she’s doing it with toots.

I couldn’t be more proud.


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