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I always feel like somebody's watching me..

December 07, 2013 The Wine Time Dad 0 Comments Category : , ,

I often wonder about those nightmare scenarios when you go into the doctor's office and during the check up, the doctor notices some finger shaped bruises on the back and arms of your baby. And, me, noticing them for the first time would like to blame the babysitter except that we don't have one. Once the bruises are seen, you're already in the awkward position of defending yourself and by simply opening your mouth, you have dug yourself in deeper.

The accusations, even if it is only a questioning glance, are far more easily and quickly made and your position is compromised without you saying one word.

Nevermind the fact that your baby was rocking back and forth, in her newly acquired standing position, on your carpeted living room floor with her back to a chair (they have pointy corners). And, without even thinking about it, you leap forward to grab her as she loses her balance before she whacked her head on the chair. 

Your ninja skills are not rewarded when people see the bruises on her delicate skin because your superhuman speed and strength, that kept her from getting a concussion, may have been a bit panicky and rough. Don't even go into that time she yanked the coffee grinder on top of her head, which left a visible black eye for a few days (babies heal at light speed). You might be one of those couples who are flagged by the doctor's office.

Maybe I'm just a paranoid parent who thinks that the State is going to jump in, bypass my rights, and take my child. To be honest, I still feel as if someone with a clipboard is going to pop out of thin air, wagging her finger at me (yes ‘her’, my imaginary child services boogie-person is always a woman who incidentally looks like a math teacher). Or, tell me that I have failed the test and the baby is going dematerialize,  thus ending the computer simulation. Needless, to say that hasn't happened, yet, and I don't expect it to happen anytime soon. It is my firm belief that the baby will disappear of her own free will when she no longer has any need of us. 
I suppose these apprehensions stem from the fact that I’m still new to parenting and I am incorrectly assuming that people are watching me and evaluating me. It’s possible they are, but if so, I haven’t yet attained that level of “don’t give a ‘shitness’” also known as “social obliviousness” that I’ve seen many parents with. It’s also possible I may never attain that particular black belt skill of parenting, as I am unfortunately hyper-aware of people around me and I can’t help but be (obsessively) conscious of them. But, I will forever endeavor to try to be.

Fortunately, some of my apprehensions were assuaged today at the doctor’s office, who seemed unfazed by the screeching banshee my daughter turned into when she, the doctor, looked at her. It was only me that seemed to be worrying about all the visible self-inflicted scratches, here and there (babies have fast growing nails and ours tends to scratch herself in her sleep), that my fiancĂ© had shrugged off. Other parents have since confirmed this nighttime scratching habit that babies seem to have. And, without even bringing it up, the doctor mentioned how babies seem to bypass every colorful shiny toy for chairs, pieces of paper, the table and power cords. Implying that babies totally intend to kill themselves with their curiosity.
“They just seem to notice all the dangerous things first, no matter how small or hidden,” she said nonchalantly.

Hmmm.. Yes, doc, I agree. She could care less about those blocks if there is a power cord on the other side of the room that is mostly hidden behind a desk. How right you are.. I can only imagine how excited she would be if she got her hands on a pair of scissors.  

People keep reassuring me that babies and children, up to a certain age, are intent on killing themselves so you have to expect scrapes and bruises. Privately, I totally understand this and accept it, but I still worry what other people may think- especially when she gets black eyes from pulling things down on her head (that only happened once).

Maybe no one cares and no one is watching because if they’re like me, they try to avoid people with babies or little children. And, since my daughter doesn’t seem to be afraid of me (a good indication that she finds me to be a reassuring presence), I don't get noticed as that weird scruffy looking dude with a screaming child.
But if stranger ever asks me how she got this or that bruise, I will tell them it was the boogey ‘child protective service’ woman. When she pops out of nowhere I get frightened, and throw the closest thing at her, which is usually the baby. The only way to get rid of boogie persons is to throw things at them.

Oh, is that not funny? I guess I’m not supposed to make crude jokes about babies since I have one of my own.. Well, I never got the memo.

Thanks- my few readers- for indulging me on this topic… I really wanted to make this blog more family friendly and I was feeling like I didn’t have enough ‘new parent’ material, here. Well, this it... For a while.