You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby… by
(113 Stories)

Prompted By Baby Books

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When I saw this week’s prompt, I immediately thought, in NFL parlance, this would be a “bye week” for me.  My parents took photos — of course, more of my older brother than of me — but no baby book for either one of us. Similarly, plenty of photos of my darling daughters — again, more of the older than the younger — but no baby books.  Great.  I’ve had plenty to do in the office this week, was away this weekend for the Yale-Harvard game (don’t ask), and then Thanksgiving feasting and indolence is to come.

When I saw this week's prompt, I immediately thought, in NFL parlance, this would be a "bye week" for me.

But, while shaving this morning, I noticed in the mirror the two holiday photo cards from when my brother and I were very young that I came across a few years ago in the stuff I had held onto when my mother died.  My wife considered these cards to be the height of adorableness (adorability?) and insisted on getting them nicely framed.  I was OK with that so long as they were relegated to somewhere they would not be particularly on display — i.e., our master bathroom.

I have now taken photos of the cards and post them here.  Adorable, no?  I am the little cherub sitting in the firetruck in the featured image and on the right in the fireplace picture below.  The dog in the middle of that picture was named by my brother — yet again, the prerogative of the older child.  With an utter lack of creativity, he named him “Collie.”  I have never forgiven my brother.


And lest anyone think I am (or was) incapable of also helping to create adorable babies, I copy below the picture from the New York Times about my older daughter’s baby shower which I talked about in my “Babies” story a while back.  I am not including a picture of my adorable younger daughter because, of course, she’s the younger daughter.

Profile photo of John Shutkin John Shutkin

Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    This was a very enjoyable story, John. I loved the photos and chuckled over your older brother naming the dog Collie. One of my grandkids, the oldest and big sister of the group, named one of their dogs “Flynn Rider” after the Disney movie Tangled, which was popular at the time. He turned out to be a goofy and untrainable dog, perhaps because he was humiliated by that name. BTW, you were an adorable little guy.

  2. Ah, I was hoping for a guy’s take on this prompt, and this one is perfect, John— so adorbs (in my granddaughters’ parlance)! I have quite a few framed pieces in my master bathroom because I’ve run out of wall space elsewhere and because, well, I like looking at them. And now I’m going to check out your story from “Babies” to see what that photo from the NYT is all about. And isn’t it funny that so many of us came up with song titles for this one!

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Only one word to comment: ADORABLE (of course).

  4. Suzy says:

    John, those cards are the height of adorability! Great that you have them framed and hanging in the bathroom, where you can see them every day.
    P.S. I wrote this last night, and just as I was about to click on “Post Comment,” our power went out. It came back on a couple of hours later, but I never turned my computer on again until now.

    • John Shutkin says:

      Thanks, Suzy. I should admit that we have a vintage picture of a dump truck owned by wife Kathie’s family’s construction company also framed and hanging in that bathroom. TMI?

      Hope the power outage isn’t part of the new new in California.

      • Suzy says:

        I bet the dump truck is adorable too! This power outage wasn’t one of the planned ones that PG&E has been doing to avoid starting fires. (We don’t get our electricity from PG&E, fortunately.) This was the old-fashioned kind, caused by a heavy rainstorm with lots of wind and falling trees knocking out power lines.

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