My daughter hollers, “Mom, there’s a creepy baby outside!”
“Very! Rude!” I answer back, scurrying through the house to find her. Probably near a window. Oh, please let the window be shut. People walk by all the time. With their babies. People I know.
If I’ve told my children once, I’ve told them a thousand times, all babies look a little weird. I love babies, don't get me wrong. I had two. But I'm not going to lie to them. Many babies have little to no hair, they're red/pink/scaly white, usually wrinkly, maybe wet, smelly, gooky.
Of course, I've instructed them to say babies look beautiful, adorable, cute, perfection in a swaddle...you know, fill-in-the-blank with a kind adjective. NOT a rude one like creepy!
I continue my hunt for the source of the creepy baby observation. This will not stand!
I scan the playroom. Empty. I check the kitchen. Nope.
Then the dining room. Nada.
The same voice cries out, “The creepy baby is looking at me!”
Oh no, is my daughter outside? Face to face with a baby? A parent’s pride and joy? Yelling about how it looks creepy?
I tear open the back door and see nothing. Just a sunny, crisp day—perfect for taking baby for a stroll. My tension rises. This is going to take some massive diplomacy.
I dart back inside and listen carefully, Mommy Radar on high.
A new voice chimes in, my other daughter, who exclaims loudly, “Oh my gosh! That baby is so creepy! Why is it looking at me like that? Mom!”
Bing-bing-bing-I have tracked their location. Top of the stairs, looking out of the big picture window. I scamper up, making extreme shushing faces.
“What have I told you!” I splutter. “Never a negative comment on appearances! What has gotten into you?”
My daughters shoot me identical Oh, Mom looks and race past me to the front door.
I rack my brain for a suitable consequence.
They throw open the door.
Now I'm full throttle in Damage Control Mode. I fly to their side, ready to compliment said baby with such sparkly gems of praise that any previous comments will be forgotten. Good thing I’m a writer.
Mental thesaurus activated, I peer out the door, assuming a neighbor has brought a baby for me to admire.
And then I see it.
On the neighbor’s trash can.
Looking at me.
Thank you, neighbors, you have reminded me to trust my kids. They speak the truth.