The other day I was in line at Costco and noticed a mom at the checkstand next to me struggling to unload her cart with one hand while holding her squirming baby in the other. A brief wave of empathy washed over me as I remembered the days when my kids were babies and, like all moms, I had to learn to do everything one-handed. It’s amazing what a few years of practice can do…by the time kid #3 came around I could ride the merry-go-round at Disneyland while breastfeeding the baby, taking photos of the other two and somehow still manage to hold everybody’s churros.
Anyway, back to Costco…I started to load my own groceries and when I looked back at the mom, the baby was gone. Not in her arms. Not in the cart. I looked around and saw that the lady in line behind the mom was now holding the baby. As I watched, the lady proceeds to swing the baby up in the air fairly aggressively and then she proceeds to shower the baby with SLOBBERY KISSES all over her face as she brings her down. Over and over again.
As I watched, all kinds of thoughts start running through my head. . . “Is that the Grandma? They didn’t seem to know each other. She HAS to know that woman. Is it possible that a total STRANGER is planting her saliva all over this baby during FLU season?!” I was internally freaking out as the mom was calmly loading her items onto the conveyor belt with hardly a glance at this woman and the baby. Sure enough, after she finished checking out she politely thanked the woman, retrieved her baby, and left.
Now, admittedly, I am a total germaphobe, and if it had been even minimally socially acceptable to put my babies in an actual bubble while out in public I totally would’ve done it. I mean, that lady could’ve dropped the baby, run out the door with the baby, sneezed or coughed on the baby. . . the possibilities are endless.
I’ve seen these women before. These “crazy baby ladies” have no social boundaries when it comes to babies and I know this because my mother is President of the Club. True story: my parents were at a restaurant and there was a young couple sitting at a table nearby trying to eat their dinner with a fussy infant. First of all, my mom is 100% Sicilian, so when she sees people trying to eat and being impeded in some way, an alarm goes off inside her. Second, she is a crazy baby lover and she knows an opportunity when she sees one.
In a flash, she was at their table introducing herself and offering to take care of the baby back at HER table so this couple could enjoy their dinner. And these people ACTUALLY handed their baby over to my mom for the rest of their meal. I don’t know who’s more nuts…my mom or those people. I mean, who DOES that?
On second thought, I guess maybe starving, sleep-deprived new parents who haven’t had a real conversation or hot food in six months, that’s who. Perhaps not everyone has a crazy baby lady for a mom that follows you around for six months postpartum. So I guess I should thank my mom for never giving anyone else the opportunity to hijack my baby. I’m sorry I called you nuts. Carry on, crazy baby lady, carry on.
*This post was originally published on the author’s website.