Kids Are Like Tiny Security Cameras
Every once in a while, someone will ask you what you miss the most about being a kid. You’re answer will probably include: no responsibilities, playing outside with your friends, the feeling of youth, or utilizing your imagination. One answer I’ve never heard is having the ability to stare at someone without saying a word.
This afternoon, I got onto an elevator with a middle aged mom and her one and a half year old son (uneducated guess). As soon as I said hello, the boy turned around in his stroller to see who I was. He was a cute kid, with a small mohawk and big eyes. Not expecting him to talk, I said, “Wow, what a COOL haircut!” His mom made some small talk about how it was time to cut his hair again as I just smiled at him for a few seconds longer, wildly waving my hand and making my face look as animated as possible. Little did I know I was just a monkey banging two cymbals together.
Noticing a kid stare at you is similar to being in the background of a live news shot. After the initial wave, smile, and acknowledgement, there’s really nothing left to do, however the camera is still rolling. Things get really awkward. The only thing you can do is look off or start a conversation with someone nearby, knowing all along that you’re being watched like the Hamburglar inside of a McDonald’s.
By the way, why introduce thievery to kids? Scripting for the Hamburglar to get caught every time doesn’t make it any better. And why, if he’s stealing hamburgers all of the time, does he wear such a noticeable striped jumpsuit? Am I supposed to believe he’s smart enough to break out of prison, but dumb enough to not change clothes? If all he does is steal hamburgers, why is he not 500 lbs? Seems a little unstable.
The truth is that kids have a pre-packaged, ready-made, super hero ability to stare someone down and not say a word. It’s so organic that if you could bottle it up and sell it, Whole Foods would go out of business. They’re like tiny security cameras that follow your every move, like the two way mirror that never reveals its secret, and like the peeping tom who spends his evenings sitting in a van across the street….you get the point.
Before PETA gets onto me, I’ll concede that tiny humans who have an inability to speak are quite endearing. “Enjoy this time, because once you grow up, you’ll have to start using your words when you look at someone. That’s not a whole lot of fun,” I told the kid as his mom laughed, “I miss those days.”