[Originally published August 16, 2012.]
Oh, hello, person I have never met before! I am so glad you ran up to me on this street where I am walking with my baby. You did not scare me at all with your very loud voice and the way you grabbed my arm! In fact, I am super relieved because I have a series of questions about my baby that I hope you can answer, and I am going to ask them because I know you would never ever offer me unsolicited advice.
First of all, should he be sleeping, ever? If so, should it be at night? Should I keep him in a bassinet or crib or should I let him just sleep in the yard, or the toaster? And when he sleeps, should I just let him sleep as long as he wants, or should I wake him up every fifteen minutes or so for a “baby party” where I give him hard candies and play loud music? Being a new parent is confusing, and there aren’t any books or internets about it, that’s why I have to rely on kind strangers like you.
Yes, he IS crying, isn’t he? You are right. He’s probably hungry. Should I feed him? And if so, where do I put the food? His eyeball? His butt? What kinds of cuts of meat do babies like? Should I not give him hot peppers? How much salt is too much, and when can I expect him to use a knife? If he spits up, should I have him put to sleep? There are just so many things I need to know, and that is why I rely on total strangers like you who happen to be experts on child care.
Oh, that rash on his face? Well, the doctor told me that it was just baby acne that would go away in a few weeks and that it’s incredibly common. But I really appreciate you pointing it out! I hadn’t looked at his face yet! Probably because I couldn’t tell which part of the baby was the face. Is his elbow his face? Is his onesie his face? Thank you!
Oh nice lady, you are probably right! I should definitely cover his face always so he doesn’t get sun on it. If he is exposed to the sun for even one moment, even as I am simply walking from the mechanic to a coffee shop where I have to unexpectedly stop to feed him because my car broke down, he will probably immediately get sun disease or burst into flames.
I am so glad you stopped me! I can’t wait to hear more about your grandchildren. What cuts of meat do they like? Were they ever babies, or did they start out as cats or dogs? And what did you start out as? A regular human being who was generally respectful to others or a nosy monster who is about to get kicked in the neck by a woman with a Baby Bjorn on her chest? What? No! Don’t walk away! Please! We were just getting started! I have so many more questions! Am I still pregnant after the baby came out? Can they play with tigers? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! When is it okay for him to go upside down in his carseat!?!
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