Thursday, November 17, 2005

Baby Talk.

Okay, before I begin, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I adore babies. I want one of my own. You see, unlike most guys, I think they’re incredibly cute, fun and fascinating little creatures.

What I don’t enjoy, however, is new parents.

Picture the scene. I was standing in the checkout line at the local supermarket. The place was packed, and the queue was long. In front of me a young couple has a baby in one of those carrier things.

The baby gave me the look that nearly all newborn babies give me…the wild eyed, amazed stare. This baby was particularly cute, and suddenly broke out into an absolutely huge grin, and did the ‘baby wave’, (the one where they inexplicably punch themselves in the leg a few times.)

I made the mistake of smiling back.

“OH!” Said the mother, seeing my look, (she was obviously just dying for someone to notice her child.) “His name’s (whatever), do you have any of your own?”
“Nope.” I said.
“Oh, well little (whatever) here is incredibly advanced for his age! The Doctor said…”

Cue 20 minutes of this lady talking with her verbal safety catch on full-automatic. By the time I managed to get my groceries paid for and escape, there was nothing I didn’t know about that baby. I mean everything.

I learned everything from the child’s sleeping and eating habits, to how his eyes move, to the regularity, color and consistency of his bowel movements.

Ok, let me explain something to all you new parents out there.

Having a child must be one of the most wonderous and miraculous events in the world. I can appreciate that. Everything that child does is amazing and new to you, and you want to tell the world.

However, to everyone else, and I hate to say this, but your kid is just another kid.

Believe it or not, but we don’t find it amazing that your child woke you up 6 times last night. We don’t find it amazing that his eyes can follow his rattle.

It is also true that I have never in my entire life, ever met a baby that wasn’t advanced for his age.

Ok, I’ve never been quite sure what an ‘advanced’ baby looks like, because they all look the same to me. They sleep, eat and poop. Tell me your baby is advanced when he’s sitting up in his pram reading the complete works of Shakespeare, and when grandma is baby-talking at him, he looks up and says: “Do you mind? I’m attempting to read!”

Basically, you can call your baby advanced when he talks like Stewie Griffin.

In short, your baby is miraculous to you because he or she is your baby. To everyone else, he or she is just another baby, doing the normal baby things, and acting all babyish. Any baby story you can tell, we’ve all heard before… unless of course your baby traveled the world and single handedly found the Ark of the Covenant, which is unlikely, to say the least.

However, I understand that your new child is the new focus in your life, and the absolute most important thing in the world to you.

The following people are fine to talk about your baby to:

Your family and close friends.

The following people are off limits for two hour lectures on your new son or daughter:

Anyone else. Unless they specifically ask you.

This especially includes 24 year old British guys named Paulius, who are standing in line at the local Bi-Lo, quietly minding their own business.

Talk to your family, or if you really must tell the world, blog about it. That way, all who are interested can read with glee that your baby is now eating solid food, while the rest of us don’t have to.



MC Etcher said...

Hmn. I hope that I won't, but I might be a parent of that sort someday.

Just pick another line if you see me and my kid together...

Miz S said...

Well, Paulius..............

Don't be shy- why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel?

I agree that some people go over the top with the pictures and stories and slideshows.

And if you wanna get back at them, invite them over to dinner and then we can pop in the DVD of our wedding and show it to them and describe it in great detail.

We could get a DVDviewer and bring it with us to the supermarket for just such occasions as you just described!!


Miz S said...

OOps- hit the wrong button- Wasn't quite finished yet.

I love hearing about other peoples babies- it gives me an opening to tell people all about MY babies when they were small. And I have ALOT more stories than new parents do!!