Although I am spewing part of my life out Online, I am a rather private, shy person. Oh, quit laughing! Anyway, going out with JJ used to be a very uncomfortable experience due to the extra attention. Sometimes I would really have to talk myself into going out, wondering if I really needed whatever I was going to buy. That's how bad it was for me. I told P that I think I was more private back then. Much to my amusement he responded, "I don't think you could be more private than you are now."
When the reality of traveling to China hit P, his main concern was how I was going to deal with the attention. During the ten years we have been together, P has become accustomed to my social anxiety. I LOVE amusement parks, but the moment we enter the parking lot, I become a nervous wreck and hang on to P's hand for dear life. Think of an amusement park crowd, magnify it by 100 and there's China for you. But unlike a visit to the Magic Kingdom, it is like that everywhere you go. The funny thing is that I did very well in China and was not nervous at all about the crowds. Seriously blew P away with how easy breezy I behaved.
Once we returned home the old anxiety hit me full force and it has not stopped. Baby S getting so much attention has not helped matters. For the most, people just gush and make light conversation. An elderly woman asked me to hold Baby S at a restaurant (I politely declined), a woman pulled out her cell phone to take a picture of Baby S while we were on a walk (that freaked me out and I said "DON'T," and the woman froze mid action) and a man reached out at the grocery store and tried to kiss her. I have never been so close to deck a total stranger in my life.
P amuses himself by counting compliments. something I had not tried until today. We went to the post office and the line was freakishly long. Then it started, the "she's so cute," trying to get her attention and trying to make conversation. I had to step out of the line to use the automated post thing in the lobby. From there we stopped at AM/PM for a lean Sobe and had two guys offer me to cut in front of them, while cooing at Baby S. Trust me, this doesn't happen when I'm alone. The cashier went all ape sh*t over Baby S and wanted to give her a candy bar. No way, the last thing Baby S needs is more sugar.
By the time we made it to the grocery store I was reconsidering going inside, but really needed to buy some things for dinner. From the parking lot to picking up the last item, we had 16 people stop to gawk at and talk to Baby S. An elderly man went bananas over Baby S and even touched her boots. Dude, why do people think it is OK to touch kids? By the time we left the produce area, Baby S was clearly annoyed and intimidated. When people talk to her I usually tell Baby S to say hi, that it is safe. Once I realized that she was getting tired of all the attention I stopped encouraging her to say hi. Either I'm getting old, or this is worse than it was with JJ.
I know I'm going to get in trouble by writing this, but here I go. Of course P and I are totally in love with our daughter and we (biased as we are) think she is the most beautiful girl in the history of human kind. But, you know, she is, well, a kid. A normal, average child. What gives?
This afternoon I sent Abuela a copy of her itinerary, an 8X11 picture of Baby S (from Christmas, I really suck) and an imprint of Baby S's feet. Abuela bought Spanish shoes for JJ when she came to meet him (JJ was 19 months) and she wants to do the same for Baby S.
We had another bubble encounter this afternoon. I took this picture from where we were standing in line, waiting to check out. Baby S was pointing excitedly and saying "BUBBLE!" I looked and saw the stuffed animals, fake grass, eggs and candy, but no bubbles. I am pointing at the items and telling Baby S that there are no bubbles, when the woman in front of me said, "Actually..." And that is when I saw them. Look at the top shelf, next to the duck. That's what Baby S saw, a bubble stick, like the one P bought for her the other day. She is really good at spotting what she likes.