Oh You Comfy Huh?: Please Get Your Baby
Babies. The world’s future wrapped up into little bundles of joy, wonder and curiosity.
Cribs. Marvels of human intelligence, constructed solely for the purpose of safely comforting and containing a baby.
So keep them in there. That’s right. Keep your baby in a crib at your house. Or somebody else’s house. Or at a day care. Anywhere other than my desk.
A couple of weeks ago I was at work, knocking out the last bit of an assignment before I went home. As I typed away, I could hear a baby giggling in the adjacent office. I looked at my coworker, Aasim, and saw him shaking his head. Aasim hates kids. But sure enough, in came Tom with his wife and child dressed as a koala bear.
Apparently the baby had been in a school play earlier that day. I guess Tom and his wife figured that their baby looked too cute to change him into some regular clothes.
The first thing Tom’s wife did was bounce their baby onto Aasim’s lap. Then she pulled out her phone and started taking pictures. Aasim simply sat there and said, “I don’t really like babies,” and all Tom did was laugh. Then he took the baby over to my desk. He made it dance around like a chubby Pinocchio while his wife took more pictures. Were we not at work?
Yesterday, Katherine and her husband brought their baby daughter to the office. She was wearing regular clothes, but she was crawling everywhere. So when Aasim and I left the office door open, this crumb-covered child came right on in. “Who’s baby?” I asked. As Aasim shrugged, Katherine walked in. Not to retrieve her daughter, but to play peek-a-boo with her in the middle of the floor for a while.
I’ve seen Black people who are too baby-comfortable in certain environments as well; mainly at grocery stores, restaurants and houses. From whooping a child’s ass in the produce section, to changing a diaper at the table while ordering a meal, to letting a kid go spastic during the NCAA tourney while hopped up on Hugs.
Those situations involved friends and family. People who I knew well enough to let shit like that slide. But it seems that White people have a wider range of situations to be too comfortable in. Like the last time I was on a plane, a White woman let her toddler run up and down the aisle for half of the flight like we were in a Pampers commercial.
This baby-comfort could stem from a lot of things: colorism, a sense of entitlement, naivete, the “Mammy” archetype or Benjamin Button. Throughout history, White people have shown a high degree of comfort when it comes sharing their babies with strangers. Strangers of other races at that.
Which helps to explain this degree of comfort White people seem to have when comes to baby-to-stranger interactions.
But, explanation aside, please, get your baby.