“We have to bring Holt,” I sighed to my fiancé, a couple weeks ago, before leaving for Passover. “No one wants to see us! They don’t care about seeing us!” And even though it was family and friends of family, it is also true that NO ONE really cared if my fiancé or I came. They only wanted to see the baby.
“But he’s going to be so cranky. It’s his bedtime when they want to start dinner,” my fiancé moaned reasonably.
I knew all of this, and I knew Holt would be a nightmare. But when you have a baby, people want to see the goddamn baby. Honestly, we’ve not brought the baby before when we’ve been invited over to people’s homes – because he’s napping or it’s his bedtime – and the looks of disappointment on people’s faces when we show up at the door is almost heartbreaking. Literally, their faces fall, as if we just gave them some awful news, like, “I’ve just smashed into your car while parking.”
I want to kind of hug them and say, “It’s okay. You’ll see the baby another time, I promise.”
People don’t even bother to hide the fact they want to see your baby more than they want to see you. I want to say to family, when they open the door and we haven’t brought our baby, “Well, WE’RE here! Isn’t that good enough for you?”
But, as I’ve said, when you have a baby, no one cares about seeing you – they’ve seen you for decades – they just want the baby there. This is especially true, I think, for grandparents.
Sometimes my mother-in-law will drop by unexpectedly (I don’t mind) and if the baby is napping, her face falls too. I’m sure she’s always happy to see me, but she is THRILLED to see the baby.
“Bring the baby!” everyone will tell us, while we, the parents, who know our son better than anyone, will sigh and say, “Well, we might leave him at home. That’s kind of his nap time, and he won’t nap anywhere but his crib.”
Then people will be like, “Oh, he can sleep on my bed. It’s no problem. Bring the baby!”
I almost wished my 10-month old could talk, because quite frankly, I get the feeling that invitations to come over or go out to dinner or brunches with friends or family has nothing to do with seeing me or my fiancé, but only about seeing the baby. (Which is fine. Hey, if you want to see my baby that badly why not just take him for the afternoon? Heck, take him for the night!)
The biggest problem is that people just expect us to bring the baby at the time that is good for them, not for the baby. Dinner is NOT a good time for my baby, because that’s when he gets cranky. Neither is brunch time (nap time.)
I was shocked when one of my friends, who invited my fiancé and I over for an Easter dinner, said bring the baby.
I said, “Unless you’re planning to start your Easter dinner at two o’clock in the afternoon, there is no way I’m bringing him.”
My friend moaned, “Really? Are you sure you don’t want to bring him?”
I wanted to shake her and say, “HELLO? I’M YOUR BEST FRIEND!!!” Trust me, there are just certain times that are not good for my son to be out (like at his bedtime.) So, of course, because my fiancé’s family wanted to see the baby for a Passover dinner, it was a total disaster.
Dinner was at his exact bedtime, so he was a moody little fuck from the moment we walked in the door. Not to mention that because ALL 22 PEOPLE there immediately rushed up to see him, he went crazy (and not in a laughing way). He was crying, as anyone would, if suddenly 22 people were in your face. The poor dude was in shock.
So what happens? Well, everyone wants to see the baby, but the baby ruins the night, and mommy ends up having the worst time ever, because she’s the only one that can calm him down. I was at the Passover dinner for exactly 20 minutes before it was obvious this bringing-the-baby-thing-at-his-bedtime wasn’t working. Everyone was so disappointed when I announced I was leaving with my screaming baby.
Seriously people? YOU ACTUALLY WANT A SCREAMING BABY AT YOUR DINNER? Like I said, they just wanted to see the baby. Next time, I may drop him off outside a friend or relative’s house in his stroller, ring the doorbell, make sure they take him in, and take off.
Because, really, who the hell wants to see me anymore?