Weird Old Men

It is 1:30am, and once again I am sitting with a baby that refuses to sleep. She has been fed and is obviously tired because she will snooze for a bit, then wake up screaming until someone gives her a pacifier or cuddles. I figure I have about another hour of this, then I will feed her again and she will sleep around 3:00. That seems to be the pattern lately, and she so needs to stop that. It sucks. She really needs to figure out the difference between day and night, but that should come with time. We just have to wait for that internal clock to develop; the pediatrician promised it would happen on its own. On the bright side, she has let us sleep for five hours a few times lately. Once she finally goes to sleep that is.

So, while I wait around to soothe her every 5 to 10 minutes I figured I would write a post about something strange I have noticed about random people and babies. Especially about old men and babies.

Everyone loves a baby, and our baby gets constant “awww” sounds and/or smiles from passersby. I am sure pretty much all babies do when they are this tiny. However, some people don’t leave it at a “look at that cute baby” comment directed at a companion, or an “awww” as we pass by. Some people come up to look at her and want to chat.

The women that want to chat are typically older women. The younger ones might make a comment about her cuteness and move on, but it is typically the older ladies that want to converse about her age, birth weight, how long she sleeps at night, etc. However, they don’t touch her and often even keep their hands at their sides or behind their backs as they lean in to look at her.

Little girls (like 5 or younger) usually get really excited about her. If we end up waiting in line next to a young girl they will usually come up all smiles and excitement to look at the baby, want to touch her, and will exclaim over cute things like, “there are froggies on her blanket!” while their mothers try to reign them in and tell them not to touch babies with a tinge of desperation/embarrassment/fear in their voice. I try to smile understandingly since I know I will be there in a few years, and I don’t care if they want to look at her… I just don’t want germy kids touching her. Little boys don’t seem to care too much, although sometimes will excitedly tell a parent something like “look, it’s a little baby!”

Men mostly don’t really acknowledge the baby any more than they do any other being, but are notably more chivalrous. Old men are different though. I have had two old men come up and mostly ignore me, staring intently at the baby. One was at a rest stop, he came up saying something like “and how old is this little one?” while barely looking at me. Then he just stood staring at her with a “I’m trying to look like a kind person” grin before adjusting her blanket and wandering off. Yes, he adjusted her blanket! The second old man came up to us in Panera. His eyes were locked on the baby the whole time, and he mumbled something I didn’t catch, continued to stare at her for a while, kind of baby-talked about what a big baby she was (which is strange considering everyone else talks about how small she is) and then he touched her hand and walked off to the bathroom. Yes, again, a strange old man touched the baby as though it is perfectly acceptable. Both times I was alone with her, so I am not sure if this strange old man phenomena has anything to do with Sean’s absence. I think when he is around other men seem to keep their distance, must be some male thing.