When my son was a baby, I went back and forth between thinking he was a simple creature (eat, sleep, poop, repeat), and a mysterious being from another world (Why is he looking at me like that? What’s he thinking? Why are his fingers curled up that way?). In fact, in those early months it was often other people who swooped in and came to my rescue. You’d think moms would get used to it, but there are some surprising people who can help your baby calm down instantly. Baby whisperers, if you will. Or, as I've grown to call them, beautiful creatures sent to this world to help every new mom keep her sanity in tact. But, you know, that could just be me.
I’ve grown to know and understand my son fairly well in these first 2.5 years with him, but I’m still learning; not only because of him, but because of the people around us both. Spoiler alert: it’s not always the people I expect. Just when I think my son's going to bury his head in my coat and shy away from the elderly man at the grocery store, he smiles and engages with him. Just when I think I can prompt him to say, 'Thank you” to the server who brought him a balloon, he decides to be shy and silent. He's a constantly changing, always impossible to pin-point being that has made the people around us a little more mysterious, too. It's a gift, I guess.
Perhaps if I had paid more attention to the people around us in the beginning of my son's life, when other people were able to wave the magic wand and calm him down, I'd be better equipped to figure out who will help him get back to neutral now. Then again, I had an adorable newborn to stare at so, you know, I won't be too hard on myself.
Of course your baby can pick up on your BFF’s awesomeness. In fact, it's probably easier for your baby to figure out how often your bestie is after he or she has been crying in your arms for two hours upon her arrival. Of course all it takes is a direct transfer from your hold to hers, before he calms down and becomes a perfect angel. Of course.
All right, this one’s probably a little obvious. The nurses in the maternity ward where I delivered were magical sorceresses, bringing peace and calm into the room. It’s possible that I could be misremembering and they were actually able to calm me down instantly but, either way, my son picks up on those vibes too, so it still counts.
Your partner always manages to do it without trying, especially when you’ve already done everything; even watched those weird YouTube videos showing funky ways to hold babies. That’s just how it goes.
The Nice Lady Behind You At Target
Normally I’m cautious when strangers attempt to interact with my son, but if they’re doing it in such a way it lifts his mood and dries his tears, all while I'm in close proximity and not seeing any signs of weirdness? Yeah, I'm not exactly complaining.
To be fair, it could be the barista or the aroma of coffee or the fact that the baby is soothed by your calm that always happens when you know your coffee is near. Either way, it's not the worst thing.
Your Partner’s Parents
It will of course happen the exact amount of times it takes for them to assume you have the easiest baby ever, and to question you and your parenting skills whenever the child fusses for the rest of their lives. That's just how it works.
It's like the baby knows, "These people are responsible for one quarter of my genes, so perhaps I should give them all my best behavior. Seems like a fair trade."
Anyone Walking A Dog
Thanks, neighbors. Please don’t mind us standing and staring at you from the window, my son just likes your corgi and I need these moments of peace and quiet.
Anyone With Glasses And/Or Facial Hair
Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of people with facial piercings in our life, but I’m sure that would count, too. Basically, anything additional to facial features was something that could capture a baby’s attention and make everything right in the world, for a minute or two.
Anyone Who Has Held A Baby Before
OK, not that I’m advocating the handing of your baby to just anyone who knows how to hold a baby (I can think of some pretty horrible people who’ve been photographed with babies). But, should you choose to let someone hold your baby on your own accord, they can almost always make it look way easier than it is.
Um, yes, hello there. Let’s not forget the magical mom touch that you bring to the table. Of course, it’s not foolproof and there are going to be times when your baby needs something that’s not you. But, there are probably going to be more times when all they want is you, and that’s worth a reminder.