These photographs of a sleeping baby, set against whimsical fairytale backgrounds have gone viral: maybe you've seen them? The photographer and mom to three boys, Queenie Liao, took a ton of them, and you can view them here: Wengenn in Wonderland
That the pictures are adorable does not need to be stated, as it is obvious.
Here's what I do have to say: this mom, Queenie, clearly has three top-notch, amazing sleepers. Her baby must be one of those can't-say-no-when-the-Sandman-calls super easy babies that drifts off to the land of nod like an infant in a diaper commercial.
Because what I felt as I clicked through these pics was not peace and delight and coziness. I felt searing panic.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? YOU'RE GOING TO WAKE HIM UP!!!" my mind screamed.
"No! No! NO! Don't put a MICROPHONE in his hand!"
"If you try and position that matrioshka outfit over his face, you're going to ROUSE him."
When I saw the kid wearing the mustache, I went totally apoplectic.
"Did you DRUG HIM??? How in the HELL could he sleep through that?"
When my baby falls asleep, I am nervous about even clicking the light off in the hallway OUTSIDE her room, for fear it might wake her. I curse my knees for cracking as I walk out the door. I wouldn't dare to slip so much as a sock on her feet even if it was freezing cold; what she has on at the time of sleep is what she keeps on. Period.
I will never recover from the torturous sleep deprivation that lasted, not just a few months, but years with my older two, and you couldn't PAY me to fuck with them when they sleep. I'd rather enter a lion's cage than their bedroom when they're finally slumbering. And also, as soon as they're asleep, I want nothing to do with them. Not permanently, of course. But definitely for an hour or more, as long as I've got. I want to change the damn channel. That way, when they wake, I can be happy to see them again.
So, yes, these are cute. But they do not fill me with feelings of well-being, but with PTSD-style flashbacks. But hey, what do i know?
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.