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Monday, June 30, 2008

Is Your Baby Beautiful?

Every momma on the planet strongly feels that HER baby is THE most beautiful child in the world.

I get that.

I really do.

Although some of those mommas are seriously wrong in their thinking. Now, don't y'all start giving me lip for stating what everyone else is actually thinking. Yes, all babies are cute. But some are only cute BECAUSE they are babies.

Not your baby, of course. I'm speaking of other people's babies. And sometimes other people's children don't land too far from the trunk of the ugly tree. You look at them and think, 'oh goodness, let's hope (and pray) she's a late bloomer.'

Am I wrong?

I didn't think so.

And, yes, I realize that no momma includes her child in that category. Because - getting back to my original thought - every momma thinks her child is the most beautiful child in the world.

I am no different. Our little Tongginator is CUTE, y'all.

Seriously cute.

But I must say that there might - MIGHT - possibly be a baby who is at least AS cute as the Tongginator. I know... I didn't believe it at first, either.

But have y'all seen my sister KitKat's child BabyRuth? She looks just like her older brother 100Grand, who once won a city-wide Cute Baby contest in Indianapolis. Like her brother, BabyRuth looked absolutely gorgeous at only minutes old. Unbelievably, she's grown even more beautiful these past three-and-a-half months.

Here she is at nearly three months old...

BabyRuth, shown with KitKat's full permission

Look at those curly locks.

Now don't you see why I might - MIGHT - possibly concede that BabyRuth is comparable to our incomparable Tongginator?

Because BabyRuth is seriously cute, y'all.

AND because our only photos of the Tongginator at a similar age are her referral photographs. To all you non-China-adoptive parents who read my blog, excuse the hysterical laughter you hear all around you. China-adoptive parents rarely - RARELY - receive cute referral photos, only they don't realize that fact until they've been home a few years.

Because - getting back to my original thought - every momma thinks her child is the most beautiful child in the world.

But still, BabyRuth is seriously adorable, y'all.

So I sort of understood why my sister dragged me to a "Most Photogenic Babies" contest last Thursday, even though I totally thought It Was A Scam. I believed my sister bought into a "pay us $100 and we'll make your child a STAR" beauty pageant program.

I was an idiot.

Because the contest?

It's an annual fund-raising event to benefit the Children's Miracle Network. Since 1993, America's Most Photogenic Babies has raised over $2.5 million dollars for children's hospitals across the United States. You can enter your child in up to four photo categories, at $35 per category. Since the photographers and administrative staff volunteer their time and most supplies, each photo entry earns the hospital network $27 (they subtract $8 for the cost of materials). A professional panel chooses one winner for each category, as well as an overall winner for the city.

And the child who wins the city's overall award?

That child's photo travels to the national competition. The winner of the national competition wins all sorts of goodies, including a modeling contract of some sort. Most importantly, though, the city winner (or the momma and daddy of the city winner) presents the local area's official donation check to the local Children's Miracle Network hospital.

Isn't that Truly Touching?

I thought so, too.

Well, crud. At that point I felt obliged to enter the Tongginator in the contest, even though it's Not My Sort Of Thing. Not only is it about beauty and fashion and stuff, it also required me to make a decision. I needed to select a photo that fell into one of four categories.

Oh. The. Stress.

First we tried for the Beauty Category, which the literature described as a close-up shot with a serious expression. That didn't go over so well, since the Tongginator rarely acts serious.

Next we tried for the Precious Category. The name of that category kind of says it all, doesn't it? Since the Tongginator is more tart than sweet, we quickly moved on.

The third category, Fashionable, seemed quite a stretch for our little Tongginator. First of all, she has me for a mother. Second, I thought the contest was a Total and Complete Scam until we actually arrived, so I made little to no effort when clothing the Tongginator that morning.

By default, the Tongginator ended up in the Comical Category. And really, that suits her personality best anyway. And thank goodness, since the process eliminated all decision-making angst.

KitKat entered both BabyRuth and her sister M&M in the contest. Unfortunately, toddler M&M didn't enjoy the experience, even with her momma KitKat holding her tight. Since M&M felt so distressed, the photographer asked the Tongginator to join her cousin on stage for a bit. He hoped it might tease a smile out of teary-eyed M&M.

It didn't work all that well, although the tears DID dry up. Little M&M's photo shoot ended after only 15 shots. The photographer took about 25 pictures of the Tongginator.

And BabyRuth? He shot over 50 photos of her Adorable Self.

Hey... wait a minute. Now I'm wondering if I should feel offended on behalf of our little Tongginator. Nah. The photographer must simply not realize that tart can still be gorgeous.

Between the two of us, KitKat and I ended up with one okay contest entry (M&M), one good one (the Tongginator), and one that exuded Cuteness Itself (little BabyRuth).

What do y'all think?

I know that pictures of pictures aren't all that clear, much less pictures of laptop screens, but here are two of our three entries.

Now, I seriously don't want to put y'all on the spot or anything. Because that would be rude. And I am not rude. Well... sometimes I am not rude.

So... what do y'all think? Do you think there is any chance we might make the city finals? Or are we just like everyone else, thinking our baby is the most beautiful baby in the world?


Tonggu Grammy said...

Baby Ruth is going to Nationals! That sounds like she's a horse or something, doesn't it? She IS seriously a beautiful baby, but I, of course, am not in any way biased. I LOVE the Tonginnator's picture because that captures who she is. I think the judges will see that and reward her. We can always send the Tonginnator to them to discuss how it captures her personality. I think that's the perfect idea. They wouldn't stand a chance!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I think that they she could go all the way and be Baby Universe... hehehe... she needs to out beat all those other average babies... does it sound like I want you to win???? Ummmm...

Briana's Mom said...

They are both beautiful! You are going all the way!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I have to agree....they are moving on.....so darn cute!

I am in total hysterics here...just followed your link to Shlumpadinka.....OMG...I had to close my office door, I was laughing so hard!


prechrswife said...

Adorable! :-)

Rochelle said...

Oh... they are going to nationals! I'm sure of it!!

Janet said...

That baby is SOOOOO Cute! ADORABLE!!!!! And the Tongginator's is adorable too! I love the "throw-back-your-head-and-laugh-for-pure-
joy shot." LOVE IT! Don't forget me when you're famous......

Aunt LoLo said...

From one cute kid's Mommy to another....your daughter's adorable! She's got a shot. ;-)

CC said...

I'm not good at judging, because I was more than slightly miffed with The Flash didn't win a radio contest "cutest baby" award. Especially when I saw the winner and runner ups. Seriously. Email me and I'll send you my entry.

The Flash's referral pic was so cute I considered entering that into a baby contest. Marvel Girl. Um. Not.So.Much.

Becoming Me said...

She is uber cute. I have to say, I think my Pumpkindoodle is the cutest little girl ever and I was so miffed when she did not win a cute kid contest. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Cajunchic said...

Is it bad that when you mentioned the babies that were not so cute even though the parents thought they were that I immediately thought of a relatives baby. blush

I definitely think she has a chance of winning. She is beautiful