Sunday, June 17, 2007

Guest Blogger: Father's Day

Awww, isn't that cute? Or is it?
By J. Randolph Murray

For some reason, little kids seem to like me. Standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for seating at a restaurant, milling around wherever ... our eyes meet and bingo — mutual goofiness breaks out. I grin at the baby, the baby laughs, waggles little fingers or begins babbling happily. Peek-a-boo games break out spontaneously, to the embarassment of adult companions. I usually don't have to say anything, it's just something in the look, in the smile, I guess. Or maybe we're just on the same mental level. Recently one of my co-workers brought her 15-month-old grandbaby in to show her off. All the ladies in the office clustered around, cooing and ooohing and aahing at the little darling, who accepted the adulation rather aloofly, like the little princess she appeared to be. From across the room I looked over the gaggle of moms and caught the baby's eye. The little darling promptly wriggled out of grandma's arms and toddled her way through the crowd, little arms outstretched, directly into my embrace. And I had never laid eyes on little Nazhia before that moment. True story. I have witnesses. So now, hopefully having established my babyloving credentials, let me impart some unsolicited advice — delivered with love — to parents of the diaper set on this Father's Day weekend: Even people who just loooove your precious little ones do not enjoy hearing them screech, wail, cry and whine in public places. Like in church. (That's why most have nurseries. Consider using them.) Or in movie theaters. (If you can't get a baby-sitter and you're rolling the dice that your little one will sleep silently through "Ocean's Thirteen," just be willing to recognize when you've lost your gamble and fold quietly and quickly.) Especially in restaurants. (The finer the dining, the less tolerance for whining. Of course, for "family restaurant" buffets and any place that purposely misspells the words "country" or "cooking" with a "k" instead of a "c," you and junior are pretty much given a free pass.) No matter where your baby is interacting with the public, I would suggest a two-shrieks-and-you're-out rule. (Take it from an old pro: Once they turn on the siren, it's going to go a while before it winds down. Be kind to others and remove the noisemaker from the premises, please.) After all, it's never too early to begin training your child by example, particularly in employing the Golden Rule. Have a happy and considerate Father's Day.

J. Randolph Murray is the editor of the Houston Peach. He can be reached at 923-3109 extension 300 or by e-mail at

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