My little swedish meatball

February 8, 2006

I can’t believe that it’s taken me, like, 4 days to get around to posting this, but here it is: Baby had her first trip to Ikea last weekend!

Dudes! Never mind the room full of grotty plastic balls – where’re the swedish meatballs?

This was pretty exciting, because, as it happens, Mommy and Daddy have spent a lot of time there lo these many years. And Mommy and Daddy have long noticed that there is always a hefty freakin’ load of babies, toddlers and other assorted small-person types at Ikea. And, now, finally, we have a small person of our own! We’re officially Ikea family-type people, not desperate Gen-Xers with modernist design ambitions that exceed our financial grasp.

So, yeah, we took Baby to Ikea this past weekend, ostensibly to get storage boxes in which to stow the wardrobe that Mommy no longer fits into (and fears that she will never fit into again), but really to march Baby through the children’s section and bask in its relevance to our new domestic configuration and then to have Swedish meatballs.

This is pretty good, but it ain’t no Swedish meatballs

So while we’re hangin’ in the Ikea cafeteria, this couple approaches. Actually, I’m not even aware of them having approached, exactly. They were just suddenly there, and seemed to have been there for a few minutes, watching us. Now, this happens to us a lot – people approaching out of nowhere to coo at Baby – as I imagine it does to every other new parent in the world. Which is not to say that Baby isn’t unusually cute (which she IS), just that babies everywhere – the super-cute, the sorta-cute, and the downright funny-looking (who are also cute, really, when it comes right down to it) alike – get this kind of attention. They’re like puppies, but human.

But these people were weird. They just stood and watched Baby for awhile – we smiled at them, expecting them to say something, but they just nodded and continued looking at Baby. For a moment I thought that they were going to ask what section of the store we found her in and whether she required an allen key.

When they finally spoke, it was the usual: “Cute baby.” Yes. “Very small.” Duh. “How old?” Etc, etc.

Then the woman goes, “Boy?” Which I wasn’t bothered by, as Baby’s adorableness transcends gender (and in any case, I refuse to tape a ribbon to her head). But, of course, I corrected her and said no, she’s a GIRL.

(Can I just add here, parenthetically, that English was not their first language. And may I just also say – and I am just making an observation here, NOT JUDGING, so please no comments suggesting that I may harbor secret xenophobic biases – that they were the oddest intercultural couple that I’ve seen. Which is saying something, ’cause Toronto’s pretty multicultural and Canada’s all about promoting the cultural mosaic blah blah blah and so you’d think that you’d see more of this. Anyway, they were middle-aged and she was Cantonese and he was, like, former-Soviet-bloc Eastern European – both of the very new immigrant variety and both struggling with the English a bit and so you gotta wonder what their story was.)

Anyway. So I say ‘GIRL’ and they look at me like I’ve just said “MONKEY” and I’m wondering what the hell is so confusing about all this when the woman says – get this – “Oh. You shaved her head?”

!?!?!

Who, may I ask, for the love of God, shaves their baby’s head? Hare Krishnas? Michael Jackson? What’s the point of reference here?

But more importantly: have they never seen a freakin’ BABY? She’s three months old, for crying out loud. It’s not like she’s twelve, in which case I grant that it would look odd if she were bald. But she’s NOT bald, for that matter – she has a very respectable thatch of lovely blond fuzz on top of her head, and so under no circumstances can she be said to be challenged in the hair area.

So, Baby’s head does not, for the record, resemble in any way a pale little meatball, Swedish or otherwise. It has fuzz. And, also for the record, may I say that there is no way in hell that we would ever shave that fuzz (and be assured that I will lobby vigorously against her ever shaving it in the future, once it becomes full-fledged hair.) I am just not that cool a mom.

See that? That’s hair. GIRL hair. OK, girl fuzz. But still.

Anyway. To all of you non-parent Ikea shoppers out there who are understandably drawn to adorable small people with very minimal hair, memo: those are babies. And their mommies are sensitive.

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