I don’t know if I’m cut out for the parenting thing

Rhiannon and I babysat her cousin last weekend. She’s 18 months old and trusts me about as far as she could throw me – which is not at all. Unless I’m giving a stuffed animal back to her or giving her something to eat, she would just as soon not be close enough to me to where I could touch her. When we first got there, Rhiannon jumped down on the floor with her and won her over in a little under three minutes. Yes, I stayed upright and watched some football on TV. I’ll blame Rhiannon for making such a good first impression. My shining moment of the afternoon was being able to blow bubbles while we were out on the back porch. She was more than happy to sit and watch those for a long time. She even looked at me with a happy expression while she waited for more. And then we went inside and played with her shoes. “Here take my shoe and now give it back” was our bonding moment. Hello, remember the time when you were a few months old and fell asleep on me and really liked holding onto my necklace? Guess not. And once her parents came back – game over. At that point, it was “Thank you, but your bubble blowing services are no longer needed, please exit my house at your earliest convenience.” Ok, she didn’t say that, but she’s very expressive for her age.

It’s ok; maybe it’s just her. Or maybe it’s all babies. Case #2:

We were at Wal-Mart shopping on a busy weekend. As things do, an aisle bogged down and I ended up standing close to a baby looking over his mom’s shoulder. Baby looks at me, lower lip trembles, eyes water, and the crying commences. Later, I see them again and point out the baby to Rhiannon. The mother sees me and from 40 feet away hides her baby. Thank you. I will now go home and lock myself in, lest I scare any other children.

Unless he was just crying because he recognized me as someone who felt his pain about supporting the Walton’s monopoly when Wal-Mart doesn’t even have the decency to carry Ortega brand taco seasoning. Seriously, we even had a coupon. If that was the case, I feel you buddy, cry on.