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Why crowded trains aren't the time or the place.

11:06:00 PM DC Daddy's Wine Time 0 Comments Category :

It's Monday, isn't it?

Sometimes I still don't know what day it is or what's going on. Is that a common symptom of being a new parent or just a common symptom of parenthood in general? I often fear it's the latter not the former. In which case, I better get used to it and learn to deal with a lifetime of huh-like confusion. 

Part of it is that…

I often hear people talking to me (or about me) and it's probably something I should listen to, but I don't really pay attention to what's being said. I do this naturally without even thinking about it anymore- like a default non-listening position. I know this is stereotypically a very male response to someone talking to them, but I feel it's a bit more than that. I have learned to react and respond without having to devote the mental capacity to remember (a nifty "relationships" survival technique, ha ha. Ha ha. Haaa...). 

Being at home all day with the little bundle of joy does that to me. It doesn't always give me the opportunity to interact with adults in the manner I’m comfortable with, but it does afford me the time to stay wrapped up in my own thoughts. Consequently, I get lost up there- especially when the baby is sleeping or I’m taking her for a walk. Or, when I’m going to meet my fiancé somewhere. Getting the baby out of the house can induce a temper tantrum nightmare, especially when daddy also has to get ready. So when we’ve left the building and she’s quiet (again), I use that time to compose myself. 
What's going on in my head before you interrupted me..

I don’t really like being standoffish, but sometimes I’m in a different state of mind when I walk out of the house with the baby. A state of mind that may even out as time goes on, but a state of mind that no less requires uninterrupted solitude. Even if it’s on a cramped metro.

And…

I don't feel I can be totally blamed for this behavior. There is also a lot of fraff (mindless chatter- yes, I'm slightly altering the operational definition) that hits my eardrums- especially if the TV is on all morning (a habit I struggle to curtail). But, there is also a lot of fraff coming from other people. Other parents at the park, the store or any government office hellhole, that you find yourself in because you have to pick up some kind of official document. Even people on the train who feel the need to say something to you because, hey, the baby is an invitation to make conversations, right?

Look, I know you’re being polite and the presence of an infant makes you feel entitled to politely assault me with questions that even you know are banal. I get that it’s a gesture of community and humanity, on some level, because we all want to communicate and reach out to eachother. However, just because we're the same species and can communicate doesn’t mean that that time is now. I know. I know.. I also get the urge to say something- to reach out and just say what's on my mind. I totally get that and, hey, I’ve stopped myself from talking to people with babies, reading books I know and like, books I don’t like, or talking about politics. It's not my place to butt into a stranger's life, who has given me no social cues to do so.

Lastly…

"I'm sorry what? Oh yes... my baby is 8 months old.."
For me, personally, I don’t know that woman or dude with the baby, and I certainly don’t know what kind of day they’ve had. Maybe they’re enjoying the fact that their baby isn’t crying. Maybe their thinking of something that doesn’t require your interruption. Maybe they’re thinking of that time they saw their fiancé in underwear and/or a nightgown... Whatever. 
Just do me a favor, politely make some space, give that person a nod and and say nothing J.

I understand that some people like it when strangers fawn over their baby or maybe they just pretend to like it. Or, that other people are just naturally social butterflies, despite the screaming infant. Great! I’m not (well, not always). Sometimes I’m in the mood, especially if the wee one took a proper nap and a poo, which makes us both ecstatic.  

Anyways, if you don’t have the baby, and I do (or someone else does)- don’t say anything unless I/ they engage you first. That’s my rule of thumb.

However...

All old folks get a pass. I don’t know why but I’m guessing it has something to do with one of the immutable laws of nature or something.

As to my listening problem...

I have been trying to train myself to always ask someone to repeat themselves or at least get some clarification. Because at this point in my life, I think it would be totally beyond my capabilities to always fully tune in the first time. Old dog- no new tricks. You might as well ask me to reduce the instances I think of sex.

End rant...


ps. I think this weekend calls for something special- maybe a drink on the rocks with salt, perhaps?



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