Best Friend B has a glorious female offspring with bouncy blonde curls and an extraordinarily sunshiny personality. Baby N is funny and sweet and curious and unabashedly friendly. And Baby N is also slightly self-centric as is fitting a girl of her age. At twenty months, she is thoroughly convinced that the world, quite rightly, revolves around her. And so whenever we take walks together or venture out into the world or even sit quietly in a restaurant, she will point to any nearby stranger and asks, “who’s that?”
“Ask” may be too gentle a word in most cases, for in truth, Baby N is truly demanding an answer. If ignored, “who’s that” may be repeated several times and in fact, may even be shouted directly into the offender’s face until an answer is proffered. Sometimes the stranger is entertained. After all, Baby N is truly adorable. And sometimes the stranger is simply taken aback. Baby N’s demands can be jarring. Its not often one sees a child so young who is also so adamant.
But Baby N is a determined young lady. Pity the fool who takes her kindly nature for granted, for she is an indomitable force when pushed beyond her limits. Sure, Baby N is charming and sweet and largely good-natured. But force her to walk one way when she prefers another, or pick her up when all she wants is down, and God help you. Likewise, refuse to respond to her little-girl need to know exactly who is entering her bubble, and suffer an endless string of “whozzat” until she gets a satisfactory answer.
Mostly, Baby N is an endless source of entertainment and fascination for me. She is pure, unadulterated narcissism. The world is her domain and anyone in it must be explained – nay – justified. I’m not sure at what point pure narcissism transforms – at what point she will become aware of other people in her looking glass. I’m delighted to watch her grow but sad to know that someday she will know the world was not made only for her.