This is a spiritual successor of sorts to Don’t Worry Ma’am, I’m Not Chasing You
A few months ago I was on my way down to the U-Bahn (subway) station and noticed a woman struggling to get a baby carriage (complete with live baby) down the stairs that led underground. Being the gentleman that I am (and also not wanting to witness a gruesome accident that may or may not delayed my trip) I decided to walk over and assist her with guiding the carriage down the stairs. In my mind, she’d thank me, be on her way and I’d have a little karma stored away in case of emergency. Instead, she began yelling at me as soon as I got too close, quickly pushing the carriage down the rest of the way without any regard for the safety of her tiny little apple dumpling. I’d chalk this up to her being a weirdo if not for the fact that this exact situation has happened every time I’ve attempted to help someone transfer a child related transportation device through dangerous terrain.
If I was a giant bird, perhaps an over-sized eagle or the legendary Quetzalcoatus, I’d understand these mothers rationalizing a solo trip down the stairs. Birds like that eat babies without any sort of remorse and there’s very little a modern day mother can do to stop them, unless of course she’s heavily armed or is just really good at communicating with avian life forms. The thing is, I’m not a bird. What I am is a helpful guy that just wants to make sure a stranger’s child goes through life without the possibility of a traumatic brain injury. Is that so wrong?
I realize that in today’s fear obsessed society, most people think that all frumpy men with facial hair are potential kidnappers (this is more than likely why I haven’t had a decent baby sitting job since I was in high school). The thing is only .000oo1 percent of people fitting that description actually kidnap children, which means that projecting this sort of image onto all of of the slightly over weight, poorly shaven gentleman in the world is nothing short of racial profiling. The reason you don’t hear our outrage over this cruel stereotyping is because most of us are pretty unmotivated at the moment (but we do continuously assure our spouses that we’re just hitting our “groove”). But this is not an article about racism, nor am I here to represent the intentions of an entire group of people. I’m speaking for myself when I say that I have absolutely no long term interest in your children.
The fact of the matter is I live a pretty care free life, something made possible by the fact that I don’t have children of my own. Why would I go and ruin that by swiping your baby? Not only would I have the added responsibility of taking care of the child (doing my best to make sure it was raised in a loving household) I’d also have the added pressure of hiding from the police. This wouldn’t last long as I tend to exist in the area between the beer aisle in the local market and my home office/guest room/cat clubhouse.
Secondly, my home is not a safe environment for kids as it currently stands, nor is it the sort of place that would lead to enhanced childhood development (something extremely important in today’s competitive job market). It’s full of sharp edges, screen-less windows and a couple of cats that see anyone that isn’t me as an intruder. That’s definitely not a place for a baby to hang around for too long. Obviously, I could child proof the place but plucking a baby from it’s carriage on a whim would leave me little time to do so. I’ve seen the commercials, I know the sort of trouble a baby can get into if left to its own devices.
Food wise, I haven’t kept up with this generation’s approach to nutrition and would be extremely worried that my kidnapped baby could deal with potential health risks if not given the right sustenance. I know the organic movement is big right now, but the only organic food we have in the house is for my wife’s dinner and lunches. You think she’s going to be very happy if she has to share her food with some random baby? I think not.
If I was going to kidnap anyone, it’d probably be a full grown man that could help me fix stuff around the house (I actually know what they like to eat). Seeing as I couldn’t handle the guilt of imprisoning someone long term, I’d more than likely release him after the job was done and pay him for the work.
So don’t worry ladies, not only do I have absolutely no interest in stealing your babies. Even if I did I’m not mature enough nor is my home prepared for that level of responsibility.
For what it’s worth, I would have welcomed your help when I was carting my children in strollers around New York City. I don’t think I ever turned down stroller-lifting assistance. There is a homeless guy that hangs out by the Q train on Flatbush and 7th Ave in Park Slope (a notorious baby-filled region of Brooklyn) who I think makes his entire living helping ladies cart their babies up and down the stairs for a few bucks. Before my kids were solidly bi-pedal I probably gave that guy 40 bucks over the years. So maybe you should just start demanding payment for your services. Might make you appear more trust-worthy?
That’s actually a really good idea, plus it will give me more snack money (which is always a plus)!