Crying babies are actually not cute. Maybe they’re cute to their parents – especially their mothers, but they’re not cute to me. No, I do not want to hear your crying baby while I’m talking with you on the phone. No, I don’t want you to put your crying baby on the phone to say hello to Aunty.No, I don’t want to be disrupted by your crying baby while I’m listening to the sermon. No, I don’t want to sing a lullaby to him/her/it while Desperate Housewives is on. And heck no, I don’t want your crying toddler to come and attempt to take the microphone from me while I’m MCing an event. One more crying-baby incident, and someone’s baby will be getting kicked out of the window. Yeah, gasp all you want.
I don’t have babies – can you tell? – but there’s one thing I do know for a fact. Spanking a crying baby will do anything but stop that baby from crying. He/she/it will cry more. He/she/it will wail. That said, when your baby starts crying – say in the middle of a church sermon – the reasonable thing to do will be to stand up and take the crying baby out. If you feel like he/she/it deserves a spanking, then, please, move further away from the entrance/exit to the church and spank away. Do NOT, however, remain seated, turn the baby on his/her/its belly and deliver five consecutive hot smacks to his/her/its bum. This will provoke the baby and endanger your life. Church folks don’t play!
Babies have a way of knowing the right time to not cry. And that is exactly when they start crying. One cannot blame them. It’s innate to cry. But their parents – especially their mothers – I’m not quite sure how to approach their insensitivity to us civilians. Yes, I called the rest of us civilians. If you’re not the mother of the child, you just become casualty, like an innocent pedestrian standing on the corner of the street, waiting for that hand that signals you shouldn’t walk to turn to WALK, only for you to be knocked down by a drunk driver. Should you not sit next to a baby, or should you not have come to church? I keep using church because that is where it bites me most.
And my people – God bless my Nigerian people – they are awfully good at spanking crying babies and then ignoring them when they cry. Sometimes, the mothers even smile at their wailing babies and then smile at your stone-hard face, as if to ask, ”Aww. Look at him. Isn’t he/she/it so adorable? The way he/she/it just wails and disrupts everyone and everything, isn’t it simply breathtaking?” Sometimes I swear those babies are possessed because somehow, they know how to cry just when the sermon gets good. Or maybe it’s the mothers that are possessed. They know how to not hear their babies crying. It’s amazing how deaf these mothers become to their babies’ cries.
Don’t get me started on ringing cell phones. Let me offer one word of advice. When in a place where your phone is not supposed to ring (Example: church, of course), and it rings, the first thing you should do is stop it from ringing. This can be done by pressing the side button or ignoring the call. Now, pay attention because this next thing you should do is very, very important: you should stop your phone from ringing a second time. This can be interpreted as (a) Put your phone on vibrate or (b) Put your phone on silent or (c) Turn your phone completely off. This may come as a shock to you, but when you ignore the caller the first time, the caller is likely to call again.
Have you ever been in church and witnessed a scene where a woman’s phone rings, then she searches her deep tote frantically for the ringing gadget while it belches out a tune like, Lori le (or Mr. Endowed when it’s a man’s phone ringing)? She finally finds the phone, presses the side (or ignores the call) and throws the phone right back into the belly of her tote. Two minutes later, Lori Le is screaming again, and this woman is searching her tote. Again. You’d think she would have at least put the phone in her tote’s side pocket.
And then, of course, the church’s projector screens and televisions immediately light up with words like ”PLEASE TURN YOUR CELL PHONES OFF,” and while the words are still scrolling, three more cell phones start ringing simultaneously. This time, it’s three different songs: Kiss Your Hand, I’ll Make Love To You, and What You Bitches Want From Me? The Pastor just shakes his head and ask, ”God, where have I gone wrong with these people?”
But I did promise that I won’t talk about cell phones. This post is about crying babies. And the mothers (parents) who won’t shut them the heck up and let me have my solitude. One more disruption, and someone’s baby is getting kicked the heck out. You may gasp again.