This week’s column may be perceived as controversial or even tasteless to some, but it’s the truth. The fact is, everyone has felt this way about someone else’s kid at one time or another, but no one will call it for what it is unless they’re cloaked by online anonymity or can release their feelings in the privacy of their own home.
I’m talking about B.A.B.s. – Bitch Ass Babies.
Don’t act like you’ve never seen one. They’re the toddlers that will flip you the bird or hit themselves and tell you their parents you did it. I can’t say the same for every B.A.B., but I’d imagine these are the kids that grow up to be either record company owners or slumlords.
My son’s run-ins with a B.A.B. in my neighborhood have been a consistent disaster. When he first encountered the B.A.B, Liam ran to give him a hug. Being a true B.A.B., the child pushed my son away. Liam just thought he was playing rough, so he grabbed him by the hood of his jacket and took him down to the floor, after which he ran crying to his mom.
This happened two more times whenever we came across the B.A.B. and his mom until I finally decided that I wouldn’t let Liam try to play with him anymore.
One afternoon, my son and I are at a neighborhood playground shooting the breeze when we recognize a woman and her son walking our way.
It’s B**** A** Baby.
Liam takes off in a sprint, because this time, the opportunity was too tempting. B.A.B. had toys. But in typical BAB mode, he was in no mood to share and (you guessed it), he pushed my son and scratched him on the cheek. Like always, he ran off to his mom screaming. Liam was crying this time, but I don’t think it was from the push and scratch.
He runs into walls and face plants around the house and rarely sheds a tear. Nope, I think he was confused by B.A.B.’s reaction after he’d showed him so much love. Then again, there were toys involved. To her credit, B.A.B’s mom apologized emphatically and offered Liam one of his toys. That’s when it got real.
B.A.B. flipped out. He kicked the toy that he was playing with just so he could get to my son and snatch his toy back. I grabbed Liam just in time. B.A.B. snapped at Liam, reminding me of those attack dog demonstrations where the “criminal” wears the padded suit.
I was done and Liam was due for his snack so I decided to call it a wrap. As we turned to go home, Liam waved to B.A.B. and his mom and yelled, “Bye, Bye.”
That day, Liam learned that everyone isn’t going to be nice. Sometimes people don’t want a hug and they won’t always reciprocate your feelings. I knew Liam could take B.A.B and I was tempted to take out my cameraphone let them go at it again while I screamed “World Star” in the background.
But what good would’ve come out of that? Liam was happy he got to play, B.A.B. got his toys back and the Tom Joyner crew doesn’t have fodder for jokes about the idiot guy who recorded his toddler trying to hip-toss another baby.
Now whenever we see B.A.B., Liam waves but doesn’t try to play with him. There’s no extra energy or emotion involved. I learned a lot from that moment. I was tripping over the B.A.B. more than my son was.
Liam encountered a problem, got through it and went about his business. Here I am giving this kid a horrible nickname weeks after it all. If Liam can move on and not hold a grudge, so should I. Right?
The name still fits, though.