Babies Are Hard To Please

Namrata Bodkhe
08 Dec 2019

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I don't need any validation from anyone. Going out of my way to please someone? - No, thanks. I would rather live life minus all the people-pleasing. But one group is an exception to my rules and I will happily play a clown to entertain them. It's a group that almost everyone adores - babies.

Now, you may act tough but how can you possibly deny the feeling of victory, the sense of pride, and the 'see how nice and jolly and playful a human being I am' vibe you get when you get along with a baby?

Witnessing a baby with freshly done makeup, all that Johnson's Baby powder smell, flappy arms and legs, and swiftly moving eyes enchant you to the core. Everyone likes babies, and if babies like me, everyone will like me. There's no need to impress anyone else! All you want to do now is to impress the baby at once.

Babies are very selective about their acceptance of people and it's easy to be bad at getting their attention. Your preliminary strategy is 'snap your fingers' followed by 'making a weird face'. Is the baby interested? Haha, I don't think so. You up the game by calling them affectionate nicknames. Suddenly, they look at you and are so mesmerized that they start leaning towards you. Yes! Is anybody seeing this?! Not like that kind of attention leads to getting social validation, but look at us!

Then the babies extend their arms. Have you succeeded? Not yet, champ. You reach to get them all excited only to realize that they were leaning in to get your glasses. Their tiny hands grab your glasses and when the baby’s curiosity is satisfied, they throw the glasses on the floor.

You are slightly agitated, but as you are a 'nice and jolly and playful human being' you hide your irritation, pick your glasses up and try to make peace by handing them over to the baby again. The mum warns you to keep your glasses away from her baby - she knows her angelic baby's devilish plot - the glasses will land on the floor again.

To avert that misfortune, you do the lame trick of making them disappear by hiding them somewhere, and saying, 'Haww! Gayab!' The baby focuses on you for a while, but now you might not be interesting enough to hold their attention (unless you have long hair). Mind you, their little fists can pull your hair hard and hold them in a death grip as you cry for help.

However, you aren't a quitter. Not like the validation matters much but you start using all the baby jargon. Peek-a-boo and talking gibberish, making weird expressions - everything is on display. By now, you have become so determined to make the baby smile that you don't mind looking like an idiot to people around you.

If after this series of efforts, you are able to get the baby to smile, having accomplished your goal, you can bid a goodbye. You say, 'tata' and the baby says, 'tata' after a few words of encouragement from the mum. Wiping the beads of sweat on your forehead you go on your way satisfied.

Caution: Things will not always have a rosy ending. The baby is smart and likes to play games, especially when there are witnesses around. As soon as you start executing your game plan, the baby will start crying (wait, what, why? ). Then the mum has to calm it down while pretending you weren't the one to upset her baby.

Suddenly, a volunteer emerges from the audience and shows you how it's done. They will demonstrate the same strategies as you but they will make the baby laugh and smile. You are embarrassed and a little heartbroken, not knowing where you went wrong. Wanting to mind your own business you stand in the side, secretly not quite liking the baby.

Namrata Bodkhe

I believe there is nothing more amusing than a simple truth told in a simple way. Overthinking and over analyzing are my hobbies. And I like to 'sense the humor'.

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