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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Wonder People Stick With "Goo Goo Ga Ga"

While I do not tend to say the wrong things around adults, I lack the gene that prevents me from sticking my stilettos directly in my mouth when children are involved. Take the case of my former Florida newspaper’s holiday party, when I leaned over to a coworker’s little boy, mustered what I thought passed for interest and enthusiasm and said, “Hi there little guy! Are you ready for Santa?! I bet you’re ready for Santa!” The kid looked at me blankly and his father said tersely, “We’re Jewish,” before hustling him off to the secular cookie buffet.

This quirk is especially problematic now that the birthing season is upon us. There are only 16 units in my co-op, so we’re all fairly chummy. Which means that the decision of about a quarter of the building to breed nine months ago now has me standing in the kitchen every other night whipping up a casserole of some sort. (After significant time in the South I’ve learned there is one appropriate response to birth and death and it's is the same: tuna noodle surprise.)

So when I took a batch of vegetarian goulash to the two lovely women living above us who had twins a few weeks ago, I did the auto-smile, cooed and blurted out: “Ooh, they’re so tiny!” Which was great, because they were born four weeks premature. Then last night I hauled some Florentine mac ‘n cheese to the couple next door and their two-day-old bundle of joy. This visit seemed to be going well. I opened with a “He is beautiful,” (and right after saying it, I knew I meant it) and brought it home with a “So perfect. He doesn’t even have that red blotchiness that babies usually have.” And then the new mother adjusted him on her lap to show that yes, in fact, the side of his little noggin that had been turned away from me was a big pile of blotchy.

Lesson learned: from now on I’m just knocking, chucking the Tupperware at them when they open the door, and fleeing.

7 Comments:

Blogger E :) said...

At least you didn't ask anyone their due date when they weren't even pregnant...

1:07 PM  
Blogger Twoste said...

I asked my recently married cousin and her husband if children were imminent.
Several months later, her husband entered med school, taking on massive student loans.
Boy was I embarressed.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous MEF said...

Just for the record, I'd like you to verify: The cutest new babies that you've seen in 2007? Ahem?

2:30 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

Oh, hands down, the new Little Strangers of Arlington County!
You know it's funny, I was just trying to think if I'd stuck my foot into my mouth with you guys and I actually couldn't come up with anything. Prove me wrong, though, prove me wrong!

3:25 PM  
Blogger I-66 said...

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find a way to make the Bird stick her foot in her mouth at all costs.

This comment will self destruct in 5 minutes...

7:40 PM  
Anonymous KassyK said...

I am lol.

11:08 PM  
Blogger mm said...

Haha. I can't believe you said that to a Jewish kid. I love it. I'm also pretty awkward around kids. When I hold my niece, 3 months old, I just pretty much say "Who's a pretty baby? Who's a pretty baby? You know you are!!" I do this using the exact same voice I do when I talk to my dog and other various animals. Then I just hold her up in the air and say in my obnoxious baby/cute animal voice, "Flying baby!". Then her face turns red and she looks uncomfortable, so I pass her back to my sister.

2:08 PM  

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