On seeing (or: pretty things and strangers)

New developments in Nico-land: She is starting to be able to see. Really far away.

This means two things:

1) She goes crazy when we go on walks and gets all wide-eyed and wonder-ed about the world, which makes us feel the same way. Walking home from the coffee shop just now, I swear Marta and I laughed the whole way and it was mostly all because of Nico. She looks at the world, well, from child’s eyes. And I never realized how apt that cheezy metaphor is.

2) She has suddenly developed what in the world of child development they call “stranger anxiety.”

I know, I know. We all have stranger anxiety. Strange people are frightening, even if they are a little exciting sometimes, too. But when you’re a baby and you can’t process why a stranger looks so god damn strange, apparently the way you communicate this feel of anxiety is to scream. And cry. And scream.

This is what happened last weekend when I was walking to visit a friend of mine. I had Finn (yes, he is fine, for those of you who have asked about the poor abandoned pooch) with me because he was going to play with my friend’s dog, Phoebe. As we got close to the house, though, my friend’s boyfriend was on his way out and he stopped to say hi. Actually he stopped to say hi and give me a hug. I thought nothing of this. Nor did I consider the fact that I was carrying Nico in a front pouch.

The poor guy went to give me a hug and Nico opened her eyes big and just shrieked. Then promptly burst into tears. Real tears. It was frightening and also very sad of the poor guy who suddenly felt like the biggest pariah in the world.

Then the next day it happened again. We invited one of Marta’s co-workers over with his 12-year-old daughter. The minute they walked in, though, Nico took one look at the tall, smiling man that is Marta’s co-worker and shrieked. Then tears, more shrieking, etc.

This, apparently, is stranger anxiety. It means Nico can now see well enough to see that someone who has just entered the house or gone to give her mom a hug is not, in fact, someone she has met before. It realization makes her feel uncomfortable or, even, scared. It also means that trying to socializing in Lubbock has just gotten infinitely more difficult than it was before (which was really bad).

But on the flipside, Nico can now recognize trees and flowers and she is amazed by the world. And I don’t mean that flippantly. It really is amazing to be with a creature that is so amazed by the world. You can’t help but laugh all the way home from the coffee shop.

Though you also can’t help but hope a stranger won’t approach said amazed-baby and tried to pinch her cheeks.

And, now, that photo I promised a millennium ago: Proof that we are, in fact, in Texas (yes, Nico is wearing baby cowboy boots):


2 thoughts on “On seeing (or: pretty things and strangers)

  1. Pingback: God save the lesbian family in Lubbock! | This Queer Familia

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