Before G was born, I was acutely aware of someone looking in my general direction even without making eye contact with the person. Call it paranoia, but I could tell eyes were fixed in on me. It has always made me uneasy, too.
I am no less aware of it and like it no better now that G is here. Now, though, people are looking at G rather than me. And I don’t know how that makes me feel. People make no secret about trying to catch a glimpse at G. They literally stop in their tracks and crane their necks to see him. I guess that’s a good thing, but it’s going to take some getting used to. I’m biased, but I think he’s a cute baby. Then again, I’ve only seen a few ugly babies in my life.
I know that babies are generally attention getters. Most people who notice them regard them as precious, with the exception of those who are generally annoyed by babies and children. This ogling of my son, and by extension Susan and I, was an unintended consequence. I’m going to have be more open-minded about it, but I won’t ever be comfortable with people coming up to us then to make conversation.
Is it OK for complete strangers to come up to me and ask personal questions about him?
Maybe I’m a jerk, but I wouldn’t go up to a man, point to his wife and say: “How old is she?” Or, “Does she sleep through the night yet?” Or, even, “Can I hold her?”
Obviously those questions are silly for a grown woman. They are appropriate for a baby, but is it really necessary? What if I asked the man about his wife, “Does she spend all your money?”
Granted, it seems like most parents are part of some club, and like a secret handshake, discussing diaper contents is proof of membership. But, you know what? I don’t care about some stranger’s kid. I’m not really interested in whether the kid is advanced or delayed. At least, not yet. However, I do care about the children of the people I know. Those are the ones who I have learned from in the past, and will continue to touch on for advice.
Maybe someone’s unsolicited advice will come in handy someday, but so far it’s mostly been a quote from some expert’s book that I promised myself I wouldn’t read. That’s when I’m like: “Thanks?”
Seems like it’s just another thing to get used to now that I’m a dad.