Literary as hell.

“Motherhood” by Suzanne Christenson

I watched Rosemary’s Baby again last night, and I have to say, I don’t see what the big deal is.

I mean, the premise is bad. Sure. If my husband allowed the literal devil to rape me just so he could do something beyond TV ads, I’d be pissed. I’m not trying to sound anti-feminist here. Mia Farrow should have spooned him drugged-up pudding until he choked on it and died. 

The whole spawn of Satan thing, though. There are worse things. 

Here’s the way I see it. 

I knew from a small age that the gene for motherhood was not in my DNA. I’d get baby dolls for Christmas and scrunch up my nose at their painted-on rosy cheeks. I’d look at my mother and think, What am I supposed to do with this now? 

These dolls would end up being dragged along the carpet by their hair. Thrown down the laundry chute. Dipped in red dye and laid out on the sidewalk, limbs ripped off, just so an Inspector Barbie could come along and draw chalk outlines around the body.

In short, I don’t feel like a curly-haired, cooing baby would have a strong chance of winning me over. Whatever pops out of me when the time comes might as well have dark little claws and glowing eyes because I’m bound to find it foreign and confusing anyway.

People always talk about this elusive baby smell, like it’s something to be bottled and snorted in dingy bathrooms in between sets. I’m not buying it though. No one has ever let me close enough to a baby’s head to take a whiff, but I can’t imagine the odor is anything to lose your shit over. The spawn of Satan would probably smell more like sulfur and ashes. Maybe like a little campfire. That could be kind of cute. 

On top of that, I don’t feel deterred by the whole “evil eye” thing. The kid has his father’s eyes, sure. But aren’t demons supposed to look beautiful in order to tempt us into sinning? I’m just saying, this could be a really sexy baby. Like, the Brad Pitt of sexy babies. 

Even if his eyes were all warped and demented, it could still work in his favor. I had a cat in college who was blind, and people went nuts over her dark, moony eyes. Her close-ups got more likes on Instagram than any of my other photos ever did. This baby could get a sponsorship deal with LensCrafters and it’d be smooth sailing. #frametheeternalflame

I think the biggest advantage to raising a child to inherit the underworld would be that you never have to worry about the worst-case scenario. Before I watched Rosemary’s Baby, I was paralyzed by the thought of ruining my future child. I think a lot of women are, based on the amount of times my mom corners me at family reunions with an empty glass of wine and asks me if I think she failed as a parent. 

But with this kid? Nah. I’ll never think, What if little Damien bullies the other kids on the playground? Or, What if I birthed a sociopath who Googles AR-15’s when I’m at work? I’ll know that shit is about to go very wrong, and even better, I’ll know it’s not my fault. No one can blame me for feeding my kid Cap’n Crunch instead of heart-healthy Cheerios. No one can tell me I let him watch too much TV instead of encouraging outdoor time. Literally every time something fucked-up happens, I’ll be able to crack open a beer and assure you that it’s all his dad’s fault. 

Anyway, I’m sure when you’re the son of Satan, you don’t really have to get your hands dirty. From the way it looked, he’s got about fifty-seven elderly socialites to look after him and tend to his every need. What’s he going to do? Burn their flesh off if he gets too bored playing gin rummy? Get into their brains and make them throw themselves off the roof if their dentures come loose?

That’s fine with me. Old people and their wrinkles make me uncomfortable. 

I guess I’m okay if he’s strange because I’m a little strange myself. I don’t want people to pinch my baby’s cheeks and ask me how many weeks old he is. I don’t want to stay up all night, rolling over in bed wondering if I’m doing the right thing. If despite all my failings and crooked thoughts, my son will grow up to be a good man. If I’m going to fail, I would like to fail spectacularly. 

I’d like to sit on the throne and laugh as the world is swallowed by a cloud of doom. The same doom I felt for years every time an in-law asked me how long until they could expect grandchildren. The same doom that I felt every time an acquaintance would lecture me at lunch about the wonders of childbirth that I couldn’t possibly understand. The same doom I felt every time I looked in a mirror and wondered what kind of prototype my fucked-up genes would construct.

I want to watch every shallow, self-righteous preconception about motherhood burn to the ground and smile, my little gremlin perched next to me for the show.

But if he has a tail?

Eh. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.


Suzanne is a teacher and writer, who lives with her husband and two cats in Illinois. If anyone is ever foolish enough to publish her again, you can hear about it on her instagram: @suzelizabethc.
(To her knowledge, she has NOT birthed the antichrist.)

1 Comment

  1. cecil b

    i love rosemary’s baby however this is amazing 🙂

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