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How This Baby Became an Instant Meme

Photograph by Instagram

Say bunjour to the Honey Bun Baby, the 22-month-old whose smirking face has been memed around the the world. The Alabama baby, whose real name is Ashton Howell, came to fame when a photo of him in a red skullcap first spread on social media around Thanksgiving.

Usually, posts would feature his face as a reaction to situations dealing with relationship or food, like the moment when you find that hidden piece of sweet potato pie.

Look at this face, dough.

Even celeb dad Tyrese Gibson posted a caption.

Ashton's mom, 29-year-old Ariel Griggs, had no idea what was happening. The tax agency owner and mom of two told AL.com she primarily uses social media to promote her business and her husband is not on social media.

"My first thought was, 'How did they get my baby's pictures? I mean, I don't have these pictures.' ... I was very anxious and worried about his safety," Griggs tells AL.com. The mom considered reporting it, since photos are very private to her, but the ones of Ashton were spreading like wildfire.

Griggs realized the only other person close to her son was her brother Steven Small, an 18-year-old freshman at UC Berkeley. Griggs said Small posted photos on his Instagram (we couldn't verify Small's account) because he thought it was funny to dress up baby Ashton. Everyone fell in love with Ashton's cuteness and the relatability of his facial reactions, and the photos started trending from there. Must be the honey.

Griggs, is still cautious of the whole thing, especially after seeing some recent X-rated memes, but generally she's rolling with it. The mom even finds some aspects of her baby's fame funny, like people asking her to have another child named Cinnamon Roll.

What's important for her though is to keep Ashton, who barely understands his fame, grounded.

"He is a child. I want to keep his lifestyle. I know this may be too far-fetched to think, but I don't want him to be like one of those kid stars who become horrible adults," said Griggs. "I just don't want him to have a hard time adjusting."

For now, the yeast we could do is continue Honey Bun Baby's legacy ... with a parenting twist. So we came up with a few more lighthearted goodies. Enjoy!

When Mom thinks you're asleep but you're really just faking

When Mom tells you no, but Dad says yes

When you overhear someone trying to give Mom unsolicited advice

When you have a diaper blowout

When you see the love in Mommy's face

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