Sunday, September 7, 2008

Baby awkwardness

I've observed that there are generally two types of people when it comes to babies. Those who love them and just must hold them. All of them. Even those belonging to strangers. And those who give the customary "oh how cute" schpeal to the parents but are perfectly fine with letting the kid be. They're just not "baby people". I myself fall into the latter category. I do think babies are cute and absolutely adore the one that belongs to me, but have no pressing desire to hold random babies just for the sake of holding them. It doesn't bother me to hold them, especially if it has a purpose like helping the mom out if she needs both hands for something, and I certainly want to hold the babies of my close friends and relatives. But, I would never in a million years ask to hold the child of a casual acquaintance or stranger. That's just me.

That being said, there are also generally two types of parents in this world. Those who are very uneasy with their children being passed around and would prefer people to keep their hands off, and those who have no problem handing them off to eager "baby holders". In this area, I'm also the latter. I really have no problem with people holding Eli. I completely understand why some parents are hesitant to pass their babies around, but I'm pretty easy going about it. Mind you, I would never hand him over to a random stranger or a sick person, but if it's a healthy friend or family member, or even an acquaintance, I really don't mind if people hold him. I want him to become accustomed to being held by people other than J.C. and me and I actually want him (gasp) to be exposed to some germs to help develop his immune system (this spoken by a woman who's child hasn't gotten sick yet...).

So, being that there are these types of people out there in varying degrees (on both sides), this can bring about what I call the baby awkwardness. Here's the scenario:

Person approaches parent and baby with "goo goo' look on their face. They say all the customary stuff like "He looks so great!" , "How adorable!", etc... My personal favorite is "He looks like a normal baby now" (in a tone of great surprise). This statement doesn't really offend me - I know Eli looked like a shrivelled up alien when he was born, but I do find it pretty funny that people would be shocked that he looks so "normal" now. Anyway, I digress from the topic.

So, person approaches and it seems like they want to ask me if they can hold him, but are nervous to ask because they don't know if I'm one of the moms who's paranoid about this sort of thing. I think about offering, but hesitate because I don't want to be one of those people who just assumes that everyone wants to hold him and then shove my kid on someone who's just being nice. This situation can be a little awkward.

So, assuming I know you, you are welcome to ask me to hold Eli if you wish. I really won't mind. Pick your moments. Please don't ask me to hold him while he's screaming and I'm trying to calm him down (as one lady recently did) and, unless you're a very close friend or relative, please give him back within a reasonable amount of time so that we don't have another awkward situation of me having to ask for my child back.

Think I might over-analyze things a bit?

Anyway, here are a couple of cute pics from our day of tailgating on Saturday.


Gina said...

Cute pictures. :) Roll tide. :)

ministry mama said...

I, too fall into the "take my kid... please category, with the same exceptions. And neither of my kids are sickly, at all.

Reese said...

I wanna hold him!

Very cute pics!

Rachel said...

Then how about those annoying relatives that want you to let their 20 month old toddler hold your baby for a photo op? ;)

Farris said...

This post was great, ha! To be totally honest, there are lots of times I would love to hold Eli but I'm usually sweaty (at the softball field) or he's already being passed around. Thanks for the post, now I know I can hold him (for a reasonable amount of time, of course) next time we see you :). Hope you're having a great week!

Leanna said...

I am like you, I love babies and I am excited that my friends and family are having them, but I don't have to hold them and I don't really understand people who do, or the ones who hog them once they do get to hold them and I know several people like this.

I can't wait to meet and hold Eli or my nephew but for me I get nervous because I haven't really been around babies much so I actually only want to hold them a minute or two and then I am good. Unless the mom is busy and needs me to hold them a while.

Jennifer said...

That's great to know! I am not usually one who wants to hold a baby just because it's a baby, but Eli is special. I prayed for him, and he's just a little miracle to see how "normal" (i.e. - healthy) he is! :)So, yes, when I see him, I would love to hold him. However, since I usually have my own baby in my hands, I will need to find something to do with her in order to have my hands free. So... wanna switch? - just for a couple of minutes of course.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm with you on not offering the baby to random people - I think I was viewed as strange when we had Samuel b/c I was the only mom at our church who was usually holding her own baby - I just felt weird about passing him off to other people if they didn't ask. Anyway, good thoughts.

brooke said...

I am perfectly fine with people taking my kids and holding them as long as they want (after the first few months). It gives me a break that I rarely get. The problem is not wanting to shove your kids on people and people don't want to be to pushy by taking your kids. It's trying to let people can play with my kid as long as you want and you can give them back anytime you want.

Anonymous said...

No no, what is a requirment is that you must drop all baby boys on the floor to see if they are bouncin' baby boys.