You know, I really need to improve my fake interest in people's children more (specifically, my co-workers and strangers. My friends' children I have a great interest in because it's still bizarre to watch these people who used to do the most insane things reproduce. It's like an ongoing sociology experiment). My lack of interest is going to get me killed one of these days. Halloween is much like Christmas in that parents feel compelled to bring in pictures of their children, especially if they're less than two, in some kind of get up. Quite frequently the kid looks really unimpressed.
And yet, the parents will zip around waving the picture as if it is the most adorable thing ever committed to a memory card. Others will gather around, coo and make all these wonderfully adorable noises. And then, inevitably, they show the picture to me.
The thing is, I'm really bad at faking interest in something. It would likely make my life easier if I could do it, but I just can't do fake sincerity. Waving a picture at me while I'm trying to work of a kid that has only just grown out of the whole "Winston Churchill phase," trussed into an outfit that makes them a clown or a princess or something and he or she looks mightily unimpressed by this whole turn of events and then asking me "Isn't he the most adorable thing, ever?" is a recipe to get me into a lot of trouble.
Because as I've discovered, the whole "Ummmm, sure" is not the thing to say to recent parents. They take it poorly. It is somehow insinuating that their spawn is, in fact, not the most adorable child to grace the face of the planet, especially in his handmade costume that the mother spent three weeks making. And that you are a wretched specimen of humanity with a lump of coal for a soul to dare think otherwise and express it to them.
So yeah, that got the morning off to a good start today. Thankfully, most of the mothers also brought in chocolate to give away lest they eat it all themselves. So that worked out well for me. I just had to wait until they were away from their desks. Because evil people who do not adore their precious bundle are unworthy of a mini Kit Kat bar.
Look, I have a mixed reaction to the whole children thing. In some ways Boo is an excellent scientific experiment. If I can handle an irrational creature that won't do what I tell it to do, pesters me when I want to have some quiet time and makes an ungodly amount of racket when it gets riled up, then maybe, maybe I can handle having a kid one of these days.
But right now, that ain't happening. Nor am I getting any younger. So we're going to see about the whole having a kid thing. It will be several years before any serious discussion happens. Because I want to be ready for it. I want to have to patience for it.
But mostly, right now, I don't want to be the dad who trusses up his kid in a Batman outfit, blows out a 6 gig memory card and then takes all the photos to work makes his co-workers fawn over them...
...because if that happens, then the lot of you are going to come back and crucify me with this post. And then tell my kid what I was like in university.