Those who know me at all know that I am not what you’d call “kid friendly.” I’ve been known to make small children cry just by looking at them, and I wish I were exaggerating even a little bit about that.
So it was with only a little apprehension that I went over to Neil’s friends Ben & Julie’s place for dinner last night.
Thankfully Ben and Julie are extraordinarily lovely people, because they are also parents to a not-quite-two-year-old.
Also helping matters was the fact that Louis is one of the most charming not-quite-two-year-olds I’ve ever encountered.
Although when the clock struck bedtime for dear Louis, I was tested as I’ve never been tested before.
Kiddo was pushing a big box around the table, as the over 3-feet tall crowd sat and digested. Suddenly, Neil decided he’d see what happened when he took the box away.
Poor wee Louis erupted into a fountain of tears and reached for the closest adult.
What could I do?
I picked up the child (oh god – I touched one!) and he buried his face in my shoulder.
I thought, miracle of miracles, that would be enough.
But not unlike dogs, small kids can also smell fear.
Louis pulled back, and instead of his mom, there was some strange woman’s face looking back at him.
Realizing his terrible mistake, Louis “kicked it up a notch,” contorted his face a la Jim Carey in The Mask, and let out a wail that would shatter crystal and send every dog in a 6 block radius running.
I sat paralysed for what felt like forever (read: 4 seconds) until Julie stepped in and whisked him off to bed.
Between that, and dressing the dog as Snow White, it’s a wonder that the Ministry of Children hasn’t pre-emptively sterilized me yet.