The whole notion of zombies both fascinates and scares the hell out of me. The idea that some kind of virus (or something) could come along and turn ordinary people into brain-eating, undead monsters is horrifying. However, unless and until the zombie apocalypse comes, brand-new babies will retain the title of scariest people ever. Yes, newborns are the most terrifying humans on the planet. Cute, lovable, but scarier than anything else you will possibly encounter during Halloween or any other time of year.
Being a parent to a brand new human is easily among the scariest things a person can experience. A teeny tiny person whom you love infinitely is completely dependent upon you. While you've more or less figured out how to keep yourself alive, when you hold a fragile little new baby it's hard not to wonder if you'll be up to the task of keeping someone so precious not only well-fed and rested, but safe from all of the dangers you're now extra acutely aware of. So, so scary.
Also? Newborn babies have incredibly sharp fingernails, which are terrifying unto themselves. Why every human baby gets a set of what feels like a combination of broken glass, foot-Legos, and eagle talons all rolled up into a single tiny package is beyond me. I managed an unmedicated labor and birth at home without much drama, but there were several moments in my first few days with my newborn son where —between his baby claws slashing at me and his shallow latch — I was just about ready to throw in the towel on the whole biological mom thing. I could swear I heard the music from Psycho every time he started making his little hangry gestures.
If you're going to survive life with the terrifying humans known as newborns, it helps to have a supportive, helpful partner, steady hands, and baby nail clippers. Yes, newborn's are the scariest humans in the world, but with the right tools and support, you will both survive long enough to see them grow into even cuter, but far less scary, regular babies. (Babies are the best.)
They Storm Into The World In A Hail Of Blood And Guts
Newborns are metal AF. Birth is beautiful, but if we're being completely honest, we also have to acknowledge that babies are born amidst a mess that rivals the gore of any slasher flick. Yet they're so powerful and compelling, that we're willing to pick them right up, wipe them off some, and cuddle and kiss them. Who else has power like that?
A newborn’s cry can pierce right through you, especially if the newborn belongs to you. It's effectiveness as a motivator is unparalleled, since we’ll do just about anything to avoid that frightful sound. Instead of thunder and lightning and wicked laughter, haunted houses should just play newborn baby cries over and over and over again. Bad for business, perhaps, but way, way scarier.
Their Skulls Have Holes In Them
On the one hand, as a person who has given birth, I definitely appreciate that the person who came through my body had a softer, more malleable skull during the process.
On the other hand, once safely out of my body, this whole “soft” spot business seemed like a really huge liability. Skulls should have only the holes you need to see out of, breathe with, eat with, and hear with. Otherwise, it just feels like we're all a liiiiiittle too close to seeing brain somewhere it ought not to be. Terrifying.
They're Ridiculously Small For Fully Functioning Humans...
Over and over again, I found myself staring at my first newborn nephew, then at my son over a year several months later, thinking, “How can you possibly exist? How can you actually be a working human yet be this small? How are you possible? I'm so afraid for you, you should be in a bubble or something.”
...And Seem So Fragile
Everything about a brand-new baby just seems so vulnerable. It's terrifying; their little arms and legs and fingers all seem like they could break at any moment, to say nothing of those hole-ridden heads of theirs. Also, not being able to hold up your own head? Just, what? My God, if that is not the clearest example of fragility and helplessness, I don't know what is.
They're All Powerful...
Newborns are terrifying because they can exert a level of control over other humans that no other humans can. Without even speaking, they can cause entire families to re-orient their entire lives and do literally anything they command. Adults like to think we run things, but no, we don't. Not when a newborn comes on the scene.
...Yet They're Helpless
Which is it's own kind of terrifying, cause it means you're on the hook for everything. Other baby mammals are born able to like, walk and talk and stuff. They need mother's milk and cuddles and guidance and stuff, sure, but they're not completely helpless. If human newborns were Pokémon, they'd have just two attacks: "cry" and "scratch." Get it together, human newborns.
I have heard of some evolutionary purpose for almost everything about babies, except for their sharp ass talons. Why, why, why are baby nails so freaking sharp? They make no sense as self-defense; if left somewhere in the wild, a baby is too weak and helpless to actually defend themselves, even with their fearsome claws. Baby nails literally only accomplish two things: scratching the baby, and scratching their hapless caregivers. Why?
Their Flailing Arms
Combined with their unnecessarily, ridiculously sharp claws, newborns' ever-flailing arms strike fear and frustration into all who encounter them. Trying to master that perfect, painless, deep latch you heard about in breastfeeding class? Trying to swaddle your new baby and settle them into sleep? "Hahahahaha, nope!" Flailing newborn arms laugh maniacally in your frustrated, sleep-deprived face.
Their Toothless Mouths Can Be Shockingly Painful
Everybody else needs full fledged teeth to hurt other beings with their mouths (which, not being newborns and bitey toddlers, we typically don't go about doing, anyway). But not newborns. Any mom who has survived the earliest days of breastfeeding can tell you just how powerful those little toothless mouths can be.
Newborns are so lucky they figure out how to flash those adorable toothless grins fairly quickly. If they weren't so cute and charming, we might not tolerate their painful treachery.