The strangeness of strangers

Having a baby attracts people. When we go out I often get questions or comments about Diego. Most are nothing remarkable, just standard baby fare such as how old, boy or girl and sometimes even a compliment on his cuteness. Today however I had my first oddball encounter which I will blame on Diego, haha. 

My husband and I were having lunch when an elderly lady sat at the table right next to ours. She inquired about Diego, said something nice and then went into other topics. My husband and I had been mid conversation so she essentially interrupted us. I have no idea how or why she told us about somebody she knows ordering a penis enhancer from a television advertisement and receiving a magnifying glass. I almost choked on my taco. I’m not sure if she was telling us a joke or if this is something that actually happened. I was too stunned by the content to bother with other details. 

What I did learn about her is that she was seventy-eight years old and clearly has a penchant for telling semi-inappropriate jokes to complete strangers. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with discussing penises but to bring it up out of nowhere seems odd and you need to know your audience and in what circumstances it is acceptable to discuss male genitalia. 

Another interesting anecdote she shared, again with zero prodding on our behalf, was that even though she is dark skinned and her husband white all of her children and grandchildren are fair skinned. She said one of her grandkids asked her why she is to tan and she responded that it’s because she was born at night while all of them were born in the day time. I immediately thought about an opportunity missed to explain and explore her heritage and in turn the grandchild’s. This also got me thinking about how to handle similar questions that Diego might have in the future. 

I definitely don’t want to come up with elaborate lies to explain things when truth will suffice. More importantly, to me at least, what purpose does lying to our children serve? Might it not create a feeling of doubt in the child? I think there is a difference between caring for a child and wrapping him in bubble wrap so that the world doesn’t touch him. To me, caring for Diego means guiding him, protecting him from life threatening stuff, minimizing damage and tending to wounds while allowing him to scuff himself up in the process. A delicate balance to be sure.