Who doesn’t cringe in terror when they hear the earth shattering screeches heralding a painful plane journey?
Babies are everywhere, spreading their apparently cute charms to the populace and getting everyone under their sway.
I’m not opposed to new people, I just don’t like their packaging (diapers).
Unfortunately for me, I’m nearly immune to their charm. They’re cute all right, and they seem innocent too. But I’ve often been on the receiving end of the baby-attacks. I can quote numerous incidents when babies have blatantly waged wars on me. I’ve been ambushed with saliva-laced paper confetti, blood-curdling screams and, at times, have even been bitten by those tiny little yet-to-form canines (they’re sharp, mind you).
Most people think babies spend their time just sucking milk and peeing their pants (which for some reason come in all sorts of varieties, Mamy Poko to Johnson & Johnson), but they don’t realise that babies plot intelligently while recuperating their spent energy.
Babies love to scream and terrorise the general public. Never underestimate their smarts. Bored to the point of crying or being shitty at a restaurant or the symphony or museum, they irritate the hell out of you with that shrill cry as they squirm in their seats.
They barely breathe through their first movie on the big screen, sitting with popcorn, wide-eyed, practically frozen in time. Not even a blink. That’s the case when you are lucky. Usually, they are not content to be in someone’s lap - they will struggle to get down and crawl and run in the aisles. And if this isn’t allowed, then feel free to have that ear splitting, chair-kicking obnoxious small child experience. Three hours of utter annoyance. All you can do is grin and bear it. And parents will sit in the most awkward place to get out and you will miss the funny or crucial parts while they try to gather the baby bag, a large popcorn and a grande coke, and walk that mile to the exit. And the little devils will be wailing the whole time with helpless parents yelling “ssshhhh”, in vain. Yeah, that’s what I want to say.
You would think you’ve boarded the most peaceful flight back home when you hear the shrill telltale sound of a baby that’s got enough energy to go on yelling till you arrive. Of course, they don’t mean harm. But they also have guardians by their side in case anyone has a problem with their stinky nappies or sly hair-pulling tactics. Mothers become extra protective around their kids. I once remember being yelled at by a mother when her kid tripped at least 10 feet away from me. I ran to help the baby up when she fell, but as to how the slippery floor and clumsy baby (standing, I reiterate – ten feet away) was my fault, I am yet to figure out.
As an experienced observer of the public, I suggest everyone who doesn’t know any better to keep at a safe distance from babies in general. They’re bundles of joy, innocent and pure, heavenly and cherubic which, therefore, allows them to choose a few victims to vent the burden of their angelic nature. It can’t be easy to be good all the time. They need to be naughty as a sort of initiation into the big bad world of adult humans. I often wonder why I’m the victim of their pent up naughtiness. I have, to credit my humanity, made several attempts to befriend the littluns. I’ve not interrupted them when they smashed up items, I’ve tried to get them to let go of sucking their tiny fingers and even tried entertaining a few of them.
What do I get in return? They (almost every time) begin by grabbing my glasses with their tiny palms (usually dripping with drool) and proceed to pull the little hair I have left on my head, moving on to bite me and to throw whatever they can find at me.
I do try to be empathetic, knowing that I was the same, if not worse, when I was their age, but it never works out. I suppose I’m simply not good with babies after all.
Sketch By: Himani Sharma