Young mom & baby are in front of me in the checkout line. Kid must be around six months old, is sitting in the strap-the-baby-in section of the cart looking back at me.
I smile at the baby.
The baby’s wide-eyed expression undergoes a slow transformation to a frown and then deep, deep sadness. Then the kid starts to cry. Mom tries to resassure that she’s still there… the baby POINTS AT ME and CRIES EVEN LOUDER.
Another register opens and I switch lines.
Baby quiets right down.
I’m just magic with kids!
So… similar to the way that dogs can smell evil, can babies merely sense it through their innocent eyes?
Maybe babies can see things we can’t, the way my cat could suddenly sit up and stare at some corner of the room where I couldn’t see a damn thing.
Or maybe it’s more like this graphic demonstration I put together:
Or, perhaps an alternate theory:
Unlike adults who have learned to keep their emotions and id in check through Freudian maturation and personality development, the completely innocent and natural baby, letting her emotions simply FLOW without restraint, looked upon me and saw the true essence of my soul, and simply could not control her existential sadness and melancholy…
We’ll never know, until decades from now when the kid is put through some sort of hypno-regression therapy and remembers that fateful day in the supermarket when she was traumatized FOREVER.
And then, the hypno-regression therapy will get even MORE out of hand….
I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out. In the meantime, I bought some nice shrimp to make a fresh marinara with for my dinner tonight. The future be damned.