Suffer Little Children.
Well, not terrified per se, but I definitely have issues with them.
SFG has a 1 year old nephew, whom we shall call Howard. He is a really cute little kid - very well behaved, relatively quiet, good natured, etc. Couldn't ask for more really in an infant. SFG loves to play with him - he picks him up, swings him around, chases him, talks to him in such a way that the kid laughs and chirps and clearly adores his uncle.
I, on the other hand, have a horrible cribside manner. I just don't have a clue how to interact with non-verbal humans. I look at Howard and freeze up. I haven't a clue what to say or how to behave with this kid. He's really cute - has the [SFG's last name] features - but damn! I just act like a mute, numbly shaking the kid's hand and handing him a cracker. I have no clue how to relate to this kid. And I really want to. I don't want SFG's family to think I'm a freak. Afterall, Momma SFG is a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst; she especially could read an encyclopedia into that one!
(I swear I don't hate babies! I want to like them! I want to be a normal woman with motherly instincts! I have cats! The cats are my babies and I love them and play with them and talk to them in front of people all the time as if they were babies! But they're not babies! They're cats!)
The more I think about it, the more I believe that my main issue is being the center of attention. When you play with a baby, everyone is watching you interact with him. The kid is behaving like the kid he is. But you, The Adult, are being judged based on how you behave around the kid, how comfortable you are in a kid-situation. That makes me extremely uncomfortable. If I were alone with the baby, I'd definitely loosen up and be able to get down to the baby's level and just enjoy the baby. There'd be no one there observing me and I just know I wouldn't feel so self conscious.
I think that's what my problem is. I know I've blown the whole thing out of proportion, which actually makes me even more nervous around Howard.
Maybe I need to tie one on before playing with the kid.
Ok, now I'm sweating and feeling faint....
In any event, I don't feel good about this. Why can't I just R-E-L-A-X and be normal like other adults of childbearing age. What really gets me is the thought that if I were to have a kid (which I doubt I would, but still if it happened...) I'm sure I'd be fine with a kid. I'm sure I wouldn't be so damn stiff and I would treat the kid better than I treat my cats. I just know it! But for whatever reason, I can't get past (near) strangers' kids. Why do I have to be such a psycho?
ATTENTION CHICAGOANS: Nostalgia!
(A non-sequitur but entertaining to most nonetheless! Thanks SFG!)