Here are some teensy, tiny character writing prompts about babies. It may seem a bit silly to include babies in this blog, as many infants tend to follow very similar patterns of eating, pooping and crying. The great thing about babies as characters, though, is that it is so entertaining to see the baby's personality peeking through into the world. For instance, in my case, my parents already knew that I'd be an extremely positive and humorous adult, just from the way I acted as a baby. By going beyond the stereotypes of the standard "baby," you can show some realism by infusing your baby characters with a bit of individuality.
Free Character Writing Prompts #80: Babies
1. He was pudgy, he was a bit misshapen, but everyone that met him said he was the most well-behaved baby they'd ever met. He never cried because he usually felt quite well taken care of. Unlike most infants, he knew that if his parents left the room, they'd be back in no time at all. He ate his food without much fuss, as was indicated by his chubbiness. Even though he was still under three months old, he tended to listen and respond to his parents’ questions and commands with a large amount of comprehension. After all, he didn't want to let them down. What are some of the things he has done that his parents consider memorable?
2. Everything about your baby was absolutely hilarious to you. It wasn't just because he was your first child and you loved parenting; after all, you'd seen other babies and they weren't nearly as humorous. It all started when the doctor tickled his feet instead of spanking him when he entered the world, causing the cutest gurgling laugh you've ever heard. From then on, he rarely cried, he just laughed at everything, which caused many a spit take in your house. He laughed at his mobile, he laughed at dirty diapers, and he laughed at complete strangers. How do people tend to react to this comedian of a baby?
3. You wondered how it took you decades to learn to flirt properly, when your daughter came out of the womb an absolute guru. She would expertly draw in the attention of male adults and babies alike and make them fall in love with her adorableness. This almost left your daughter feeling entitled at home, as she rarely seemed to turn on the charm for you and your spouse. It was as if she was flipping a switch when she had an opportunity to get non-parental affection. You wondered if it was the flirty girl or the whiny ingrate that would become her true colors later in life. What are some of the "flirty" things she does?
4. No matter what you tried, you could not keep your daughter from looking extremely overweight. Her birth weight was heavier than any other baby's you'd ever heard of and it continued to skyrocket from there. Because she was so short and wide, you had a tough time finding infant clothes that fit and you had to get clothes that were much, much too long for her. Your doctors asked if you were feeding her too much, like a steak every day or something. Your friends assured you that she would grow out of it, all their kids had, and that you shouldn't freak out too much or you'll give her a complex before she gets out of diapers. What other challenges does having a heavier-than-normal baby present?
5. He wasn't just a crier, he was a scream crier. It could come at any moment and be set off by the tiniest thing. If the temperature of a bottle wasn't right: scream cry. If a cartoon he was watching had a strange animal or monster on screen: scream cry. If somebody slammed the door while exiting the house: scream cry. Despite these loud, nearly uncontrollable weeping sessions, it seemed like he was perfectly fine with the things that caused most babies to cry. When he was hungry, tired or cold, he would just get a little bit fussy. It was the tiny things that truly set him off, and his mother liked to call him "Daddy's little perfectionist." What are some of the most miniscule things that have caused this baby to begin a bout of yelling and crying?
6. You know how sometimes you see a cat in a strange place in the house and you wonder how the heck he got up there? Well, that was exactly how it was with this bouncing baby boy. He learned to crawl and walk extremely early and you barely had a chance to baby-proof the house fast enough. On more than one occasion, you believed him to have been snatched away and you were prepared to call the police only to find he had simply trapped himself in a cabinet or behind a seemingly un-climbable sofa. You actually considered putting a bell on him due to his ninja-like ability to sneak around, but you figured he'd find some way to get out of that, too. What are some of the sticky situations he's gotten himself into during the first year of his life?
7. One of your favorite phrases to utter was, "Somebody alert Harvard, my daughter is a genius!" It certainly wasn't far from the truth. She was speaking in practically complete sentences before most kids her age had said "Mama." One day when you were reading her a new story she'd never heard before, she wrenched it from your hands and began reading it aloud right back to you. She even once alerted you to a reckless driver trying to merge into you from her child seat. She was obviously something special and you wanted to make sure you did everything in your power to encourage her intellectual growth. You just weren't sure what exactly it was you should be doing. What are some other ways in which this baby girl has shown her brilliance?
8. When you had a daughter, you were so excited about the prospect of raising a pretty, little princess, going to ballet classes and collectively turning up your noses at all the stinky boys. Almost from the beginning, however, you realized that your expectations were going to be far from reality. She absolutely loved her brother's toys, like dumpster trucks and ninja warriors. She played in the dirt and would actually recoil when you made the effort to dress her in pink. She refused to consider ballet and she only wanted to play and watch sports. It was quite obvious that she just wanted to be one of the guys. You wondered if having another daughter might be the best way to make your dream come true. What are some of the other ways in which your daughter defies gender profiling?
9. You figured that if he could survive these first couple of years, he could handle anything. When your child was born, it was discovered that he had a rare illness and would need to receive constant care and treatment to survive the ordeal. These treatment sessions would have been rough for anyone, let alone an infant, but he took it like a trooper. You could tell he knew these sessions were necessary by his steely demeanor he had on the way to the hospital. It was as if he was trying to say, "Don't worry guys, I can handle this." There were also concerns that all these medications and procedures would hinder his mental development, but now that the disease was managed, he appeared to have made it out of the worst of it with all facilities intact. How will the traits he developed to handle the treatment aid him later in life?
10. It was pretty obvious to tell from the beginning that she was prettier than the average baby. Even as she came out of the womb, the nurses oohed and ahhed. She was destined to be photographed, and on a whim, you took her to some casting agents. Within weeks she had already been in several print advertisements and on an episode of primetime television. Within six months of her baby modeling, she'd already earned enough for her first year of college and tons of additional offers were rolling in. You hoped that all this baby primping and posing wouldn't go to her head, but you were very happy that at this rate you could have her college paid for and a nice family vacation fund by the time she hit one. How does she tend to act on the day of a shoot?
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.