I was sitting in the library last week with the baby, who I shall name Baby E. She’s 7 months old and we were playing with puzzle pieces. This mom a few feet away was playing with her daughter and smiled and said, “Your baby looks just like you.” Usually I will take the full credit for birthing such an adorable little being; however, I told her she was not mine, but thanks for the compliment.. I mean, think about it; if the baby is a cutie, well then, I must be too…. just speculating!
Sometimes I feel like I am in a Sesame Street episode. Isn’t there some song that goes, “These are the people that you meeeet, when you’re walking down the streeeet…?” Anyway, we stroll and sometimes speed walk through the ‘hood of Somerville and Cambridge and meet all sorts of people each day. Most are really sweet and smile. I mean, who doesn’t smile when they walk by a baby? Serial Killers, sociopaths, those at the bus stop who clearly just got out of detox or McLean, and miserable human beings with not a hope left in the world…. I can understand that they may not be happy enough to smile.
There are some very diverse people in this area. Allow me to expand upon a few experiences:
1. The Unamused Old Man
We were dining casually in Au Bon Pan. This nanny needed a damn sandwich! E and I ordered a sandwich. While I devoured my delicious sandwich, I placed E into the high chair, which she immediately began eating. Yes, the dirty high chair. I pulled out her bib, her water sippy cup, and her little container of something mushy that was nonetheless appealing to her. Naturally, every time I feed her, I am covered in her goo which consists of food and drool. She is too cute, though. She’s goo-ing and gaaagaaa-ing and turns around sees this old man sitting at a table close by. It seems she thinks this man is the president of the United States with the way she is eye-stalking him! She starts to talk to him, giggle, etc. Not for ONE moment did this angry, old man look up from his stuffy newspaper to even give a tiny smile! Really. I try not to judge, but this man’s day would have undoubtedly been better if he had looked up for one tiny moment.
2. The Oblivious Woman
We had finally arrived at our destination: Davis Square. I am very happy that E finally fell asleep on the long walk there as she had been boycotting it for a bit. Suddenly this woman flew by out of no where stopping only to recite her soliloquy about how sleeping babies are so cute, etc., etc….Her wonderfully sing-song loud voice echoed in the street. Suddenly, eyes open, and there goes the nap.
And then there are the typical people who make one’s day a little more agitating:
*The cars and trucks who do not stop in the cross walk or whiz through yellow lights.
*The people who have no sensitivity regarding personal space follow so closely behind that you are sure you will see yourself on Dateline in the next few weeks. This isn’t Manhattan, people ! There is plenty of sidewalk room!
*The people who crash into you, Market Basket style, because they are texting and have their phones eye level, completely oblivious to any other thing occurring in the world around them.
*The bikers that for some reason ride on the sidewalk. This is rare, but we were definitely nearly sideswiped by a biker. My annoying sign and look of disdain produced not one apology.
*The people who refuse to shovel their sidewalks or salt their property.
*Teenagers who walk by screaming all sorts of unnecessary obscenities, just because they can.
One of the things I have learned through nannying is that if you do not have children or have never provided childcare, you do not really think about these things. So after I scream at them in my mind and take mental notes as to what they look like so that I can accurately construct a voodoo doll of them, I keep in mind that they are human too. Sometimes one just does not understand that I’m not just pushing around a doll for amusement. There is really a baby who is being affected by these actions!