Babies are cute. No matter where you are or whatever feelings you have toward them, something about these tiny humans makes you want to pinch their cheeks and speak in high-pitched voices. Despite their stinky diapers and shrill 3:00 AM cries, babies have a certain magnetism that draws people in to ooh and aah over teensy fingers and itty bitty noses.
No one knows this better than our little bundles of joy because they have a double whammy of cuteness on top of the regular baby charisma. First of all, they are foreign. For some reason, foreign babies draw in an unusually large crowd. I don’t know if it is the steel blue eyes or the “tall noses”, but everyone from the check-out lady at the grocery store to the crabby taxi driver wants to sneak a peek at these mini foreign devils. Secondly, there are two of them. It is awesome to watch people’s faces melt into adoration when they see one baby and then light up again in surprise and delight as they realize that they are not having déjà vu but there are, in fact, two babies.
Going to the airport to pick up my dad brought the baby magnet experience to a whole new level. As we waited, it came about that both girls needed a change of diaper. So as to not miss my dad as he came through customs, I went to change the girls one at a time while my mom waited patiently at the exit door. As I set the first baby down on the changing table, I noticed a crowd beginning to gather. The women began to beckon their friends to come and take a gander at the Western babies. Never before had I seen so much interest in baby poo. When the change was complete, I made my way through the crowd to obtain baby #2. This change drew an even bigger audience. In fact, not only did I have spectators, I also had one woman participate in the diaper change. Without warning, she grabbed a baby wipe to clean her hands and proceeded to “help” me put the baby’s pants back on. She then swept away the dirty diaper to dispose of it properly. Had the experience ended here, I would not have thought too much of it. However, end here it did not.
My new helper now took it upon herself to see to the well-being of my children. She followed me out of the bathroom and pantomimed to me how my babies must be freezing because they were not wearing socks. After attempting to communicate that we appreciated her concern but that our babies were not cold, she decided to call in for reinforcements. She summoned the rest of her traveling entourage who all gathered around us to tell us to wrap up the babies because they were so cold. As we attempted to slip away, we found that each new circle of people made us feel increasingly like we were the newest exhibit at the petting zoo. Throngs of people circled around to look at the babies, grab their hands, stroke their hair, caress their cheeks, squeeze their toes, or whatever else they could get their hands on. I have to admit, at first it was a little fun to have others appreciate just how cute my babies are. However, after the five hundredth person decided to put their grubby paws on my pristine baby’s face, it lost its charm.
After much consideration, I have decided that the best way to solve this problem is to sell tickets, $5 to look, $10 to touch, $15 to give me advice. The proceeds can go toward all of the hand sanitizer with which I will shower people before they come close to the girls. What do you think?