This long Indian summer has extended our walks around Breakfast Point. Late afternoons on our balconies are still enjoyable. Silkstone Park and the oval draw people and children even though daylight saving is over. I am always drawn to my balcony when I hear the tinkling laughter of children playing, regardless of the weather.
Children and babies are a constant source of enjoyment to me. I am delighted to encounter them in the lift, the garage, the foyer or wherever. Whether accompanied by their attractive mothers, their stalwart fathers or doting grandparents, all are friendly and happy to introduce me to their charges.
It is easier if the baby is dressed in pink or blue. I just say “What a lovely little girl/boy. How old is she/he?” By the time we leave the building I have details which I hope, but doubt, I can trot out next time we meet. Of course it could months before our paths cross again, by which time the baby is a cute toddler and he/she is with his/her God parent; and a total stranger to me. Still that is the risk I take for being chatty.
There have, in fact, been several children I’ve watched grow from virtual inception to daily childcare visits within my building. I do know their names and even better, I remember them. Their parents don’t seem to mind if I sometimes muddle their own names, so long as I have total recall of their daughter’s/son’s.
This, too, brings up the subject of standing in queues. Queues are almost totally filled with adults which can be quite a boring state to be in. Some adults object to being appraised, even in the most fleeting of fashion, so we avert our eyes and just glare into space. Post Offices are notorious for queues. Lining up for a bus, train, ferry or in large department stores is equally numbing.
Our very own IGA is different and better for many reasons; and this one in particular:
There are almost always small children standing around talking, laughing ,investigating items of interest, holding Mummy’s hand, sitting up in their prams and pushers or just leaning on Daddy’s shoulder. They are the most attentive and interesting and alive human beings to watch and admire in the world. I can definitely tolerate a queue if there are children in it.
Whilst we are admiring them these tentative and clever little ones are doing their own assessing. They will only smile back at you if you pass the test.