Did I ever tell you about the infant I had the displeasure of meeting in the early ‘90s? His mother was wheeling him through Central Park on a warm day, so I glanced in the stroller.
That kid had one rotten vibe, and I felt sure he would become an evil bank teller/dictator hybrid. But his mother was completely oblivious, cooing at him and tenderly wiping away some dribbles. How could she not see that he was evil incarnate?
Meanwhile, Mr. Sociopath Baby, Mr. Future Ponzi of America was cozy in his stroller, swaddled in the luxurious cashmere blanket he didn’t deserve. He looked normal, but the vibe oozing off him was all yellow goat-eyes, secret tail and no apologies.
And mommy couldn’t get enough of how adorable she thought he was, leaning in for kisses every five seconds. I was afraid he’d put her eye out with a lit cigar. It was disturbing because I recognized his devil glint and she did not.
In contrast, I’ve met plenty of healthy Manhattan babies I’ve played “peek-a-boo” and “coy New Yorker” with.
Once on the subway I waved hello to a very calm little girl who was drinking from her baby bottle.
She stared at me for a long time, took another sip, and then pointed her bottle my way. She was offering me a drink.
“I just had my bottle,” I said. “Thanks, though.” She was low-key about the whole transaction. That’s a productive future member of society; thank you, little girl.
When I met Beelzebub-baby I thought, “Yeah, I’m not playing peek-a-boo with you, sonny-boy.” I wonder how things turned out for him.