Sunday, July 16, 2006

JOOB: The Stranger Attractor

JOOB was assaulted twice by little old ladies today as we went down to Freo.

What is it about babies that impel complete strangers to walk up to you and tug at your arm or pull aside the flap of the carrier so they can get a better look at the little darling? It's very sweet and flattering, and just a little disconcerting, too! Hello, we haven't been introduced but let me just move this aside so we can see the bubby. Oh, isn't he cute? Uh, thank you. Nice meeting you. Oh, you've gone.

I guess it's as skribe once said: that having a baby is like gaining admission into some secret society. Suddenly, total strangers will ask how the baby is. Other parents with babies will exchange knowing smiles with you. People you've barely noticed in passing will remember you, and want to chat. I saw you at the bus stop once when you were pregnant. Is that the baby then? Coping well?

And little old ladies will not allow you to pass without first exercising their right to gawk and gush at the baby. It's a boy, is it? How old is he? What's his name? Oh, isn't he lovely.

Yes, he is lovely. And I love that he has allowed us as strangers to talk to one another like old friends, however briefly. Everyone loves a new baby - it reminds us of all the best that we hope for in ourselves, I think.


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