I love taking Allie out. We get so much attention wherever we go (“we” meaning “she”). Pretty much everyone thinks that she’s cute. But I find that we get the most attention from older ladies.
For some reason, the type of person that Allie consistently attracts to her are old ladies. Maybe it’s because they are more relaxed and less in a hurry, or maybe it’s because seeing a baby reminds them of their own grandchildren. Whatever the reason, they always seem to stop and smile at Allie with delight and mention to me how cute and adorable and beautiful she is. My baby is eye candy for old ladies.
Taking Allie out is one of my favourite things to do because I feel like just by letting others see her I am brightening their day.
Whether it’s the mall, the grocery store, a restaurant, or the park, I’ll find people will stop me to ask, “Is that your baby?” And when I reply yes, they will say, “She’s soooo cute!” I wish they wouldn’t sound so surprised, as if they are thinking in their heads, “How does this average looking guy have such a beautiful baby? The mother must be a supermodel or something.” Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that Allie’s good looks mostly come from her mother, but a small portion must come from me too. But all jealousy aside, I’m super proud to be Allie’s dad.
Sometimes Allie and I will play this game at the grocery store where I will pit the cute and adorable Allie against the grouchiest looking checkout clerk, the one that looks like he or she is having a really really bad day. I will choose this particular grouchy person’s checkout line (which is usually the shortest because this person is scowling at everyone). When it is our turn, I keenly observe as the grouchy checkout person sees Allie in all her cuteness, if he or she can resist from smiling. If grouchy checkout person smiles, Allie wins. If grouchy checkout person does not smile, he or she wins. (Actually, it’s only me that’s playing this game – Allie is clueless to what’s going on. Oh, the things I do to keep myself entertained.)
As the groceries are scanned, Allie will sometimes point and nod her head and say, “Yah,” like she is giving her approval of the groceries I have chosen. She’ll then start babbling, “Gah. Dah. Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah” in her high and squeaky voice. Then she’ll reach for the debit machine and attempt to press some of the buttons. And sometimes she reaches to pick up a lime and give it a lick.
Allie usually wins this game. But really, I think everyone wins. The checkout person gets to suspend his or her grouchiness for a moment. Allie has someone smiling at her, which she likes most of the time. And I am entertained by this super fun game I have created.
The interesting thing is that Allie is not even trying to impress anyone. She is just being herself. And in being herself, she is bringing joy to the lives of many people. As I walk around with Allie and watch her interact with the world, she is teaching me how to live authentically.
What is a life lesson your baby has taught you? Answer in the comments.
photo credit: Ivana Vasilj