While the desire to have children may be strong, it is nothing compared to the desire to post pictures of one’s children online. I am in no way excluding myself from this—there were many days I sat home with a small creature that looked not unlike Kuato from Total Recall, thinking, “God, he’s so beautiful and amazing! I need to log onto Facebook so I can share images of him with relatives, old camp counselors, and people I briefly met at a comedy show in 2006.”

“He is such a sweet, beautiful little kid!” I would say to myself, as I attempted to capture him in photos, but here is the problem with trying to take photos of your sweet, beautiful little kid—while in your mind’s eye he looks like a tiny, pink-lipped, long-eyelashed angel, to other people he is a sweaty child in a shopping cart, chewing the eyeball off a stuffed cat.

Of the photos I’ve taken of the baby, 90% leave me completely taken aback, going, “That can’t be right! Is that how things really look?” Which is why I’d love an app of Instagram filters for parents. Get on top of developing these, tech people!

The Filter That Makes A Weird, Shriveled Newborn Baby Look Like an Adorable 7-Month-Old

Newborn babies are very weird looking. Yes, all of them. Yes, probably even yours. I’m sorry. As much as I want to feel like my newborn baby was beautiful, if I had posted a photo online of a 90-year-old man wrapped in one of those pink and blue striped swaddling blankets they give you at the hospital, it would be completely indistinguishable from the photo on my son’s birth announcement.

The Filter That Makes A Baby That Won’t Stop Crying Look Like It Isn’t Crying

Oh, did you just travel 2,000 miles so that your child could visit his one surviving great grandfather? Hope he doesn’t cry hysterically through your entire 40 minute photo session at the nursing home in south Florida. This amazing filter, which someone really needs to invent, seamlessly photoshops a version of your child’s face where he isn’t crying onto the photo where he’s sobbing like he just watched Sophie’s Choice after mainlining estrogen.

The Filter That Makes A Kid Look Like He’s Not Moving

Look, we landed two rovers on Mars and we’ve mapped the human genome and I’m almost positive we’re at the point where a person can control a robotic arm using his thoughts (I’m basing this on a World Science Festival presentation I saw a few years ago), so with all the ridiculous technological advances, why hasn’t someone developed a filter that would make kids in photos look like they’re not moving even though they’re moving? And don’t tell me to put my camera on “sport” because I already have it on “sport.”

The Filter That Makes You Look Like You Have Showered

Someone once said to me, “There aren’t many photos of the baby with you in them,” and I wanted to say, “Yes, that is because I have been showering with a frequency not uncommon in the Elizabethan era.”

The Filter That Makes It Look Like Your House Is Clean and Organized

“Don’t take the photo from there,” I once told my husband. “Take it from this angle so you can’t see the shit that’s all over the floor.” Admittedly a better idea might just be a filter that photoshops you into a much nicer house.

The Filter That Makes You Look Totally Content With All Your Life Decisions

It’s not just that you want everyone on the internet to see a photo of your baby, it’s that you would like them to know that things are going GREAT for you. Yes, having a newborn is a little stressful, isn’t it? Ok, sure. But I’m totally ok with it because everything about having a child is so fulfilling and the experience itself is just so totally rewarding and oh man, he looks totally sweet and perfect, doesn’t he? Look at my huge smile in this picture because I obviously have no regrets and am so totally loving the path my life has taken even though I only sleep three hours a night and it’s been months since I had any meaningful social interaction with a person who doesn’t wave good-bye to his bowel movements every time we flush the toilet.*

The Filter That Shows You Doing What You’d Be Doing Right Now If You Didn’t Have a Kid

How cool is that, it’s a photo of you hanging out with your friends at a local bar, laughing about things late into the evening! Here’s one of you sitting down on your day off, reading a book. Try not to overdo it with this filter, as using it too often may result in clinical depression, rage, or repeated playings of the song, “Glory Days” while looking at old yearbook photos.

The Filter That Allows You To See Your Child The Way Other People See Him

WHOA, that can’t be my kid, where are the rays of light emanating from his face?????

Gahhh, is that really what he looks like?? He looks like…like a regular kid! He looks just like all the other regular kids that you’d see at like a playground or something! Are you serious? How did I never notice that his head is the size of a basketball? Has he always had such weirdly-shaped teeth? HOLD UP, THIS IS SERIOUSLY HOW MY KID LOOKS TO OTHER PEOPLE??

And lastly…

The Filter That Allows Other People To See Your Child The Way You See Him

“Oh my god,” the first comment will read. “He is so sweet and perfect and adorable. You must wake up every morning overwhelmed by how lucky you are that you get to spend time with such a beautiful, dynamic human being. You must feel like your heart had to double in size in order to contain the unreal amounts of love you feel when he smiles and reaches for you.”

“That’s so crazy that you say that,” I’d reply, while simultaneously ‘liking’ their comment and cross-posting the photo to Twitter. “Most days that is exactly how I feel.”

* * *

*Yep, my husband does it too. Crazy, right?**

**Ok, the thing about my husband doing it was a lie.  

(Raquel D'Apice is a comedian who writes and illustrates a parenting blog called The Ugly Volvo. Like it on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. You can see more of her work here, here, and here.)