One man and a baby

The other day I was in a restaurant having brunch. It was a bottomless mimosa/bloody mary brunch, so as you can imagine, it was a little rowdy. But there were families and kids there too – all in, a really nice crowd.

Whilst I was there, I witnessed a young lady walk up to one of the guys holding his kid, make prolonged eye contact, touch his arm, and then whisper something in his ear.

This could have been a cute, affectionate exchange between a couple. Except it wasn’t. The guy was my husband and the girl was some random chick from another table.

To be fair, I’d enjoyed maybe one too many mimosas by then, and I found the whole thing bloody hilarious. Especially the look of sheer terror on my husband’s face as he frantically looked to me for help. I gave him the ‘you’re-on-your-own-mummys-finally-out-with-a-glass-of-something-boozy-in-her-hand’ look, and went back to my mimosa.

But when did this become okay? Ladies, you have to help me out here. Where’s the girl code? It’s one thing hitting on a bloke when he’s out with his mates with no identifiable significant other in sight. But when he’s stood there holding a child, with a wedding ring on? What’s THAT about?

We were sat there with another couple, and true. It may have been hard to identify who was with who as we were all taking it in turns in a) sitting next to each other as the conversation rotated, and b) holding said child. Girl A could have been with Guy A, Girl B could have been with Guy B, Girl A could have been with Guy B. Heck, Guy A could have been with Guy B. Regardless. We were all wearing wedding rings. Odds were, someone at that table was married to the guy currently holding the kid.

Yet this brazen hussy (I don’t feel that strongly about her, actually – I just love the phrase), felt that it was socially acceptable to go and get her smooth on. Maybe it was the mimosas. They were bloody strong.

Is this a New York thing? An America thing? A single girl thing? A young girl thing? I need to understand. I’m in the process of raising a daughter. I need to know how to explain to her not to be slutty in todays world; but first I need to know what is the behavioural norm.

It’s not just me being a psycho about this. I checked. Friends of mine have said they’ve seen the same thing. Thankfully, we’re all usually too tired to care. Or notice. Until our other friends point it out.

I know it’s pretty standard for men cuddling babies to be a vagina-magnet. The standing joke when we lived in the UK was that our single bloke friends wanted to borrow my daughter when there was a girl they wanted to impress. Versus my single girl friends who wanted to borrow my daughter when there was a guy that they never ever wanted to see again. Ever. From now until eternity.

I think it’s safe to say that when I’m holding my daughter, no young men try to crack onto me. Most likely because I’m usually on my way to or from the gym, so not exactly dressed like a glamourpuss. And I’ve usually had roughly 2.5 hours sleep, so the bags under my eyes match the size of my handbag. My hair hasn’t had some TLC in some time – although I did go and get a treatment put on it the other day. I was asked if I wanted a ‘blow out’ at the same time. Apparently, over here, this is a posh blow dry where you literally look fabulous by the end of it. Not the same as my normal blow outs which include an extra large cup size of pic’n’mix, a packet of minstrels and a share-size packet of maltesers. To myself.

Anyway, aside from the fact that it’s now been so long since I’ve gone out and looked super that I’ve forgotten what normal music sounds like and consider the Hot Dog song to be a banging tune, my point is this.

Why does man + child = chemical imbalance in a woman’s brain that makes them behave like poodles on heat?

Don’t get me wrong – it doesn’t stop once you’re married and have a child. I still get gushy when I see my husband and daughter cuddled up being cute. I don’t, however, get gushy when I see someone else’s husband being cute with their kid. Ladies, you’ll be pleased to know that your other halves are safe from me and my Nike-clad, exhausted, frizzy-haired self.

The thing is, is it really as simple as that? The age-old man versus woman difference? Is it so rare to see a man show affection and sweetness that we go goo-goo when we see it? Are we that disenchanted with the male race that we lose our shit over seeing them do stuff that women are seen to do every day?

I dunno. All I know is this. If you see a man holding a baby, and you think he’s hot, tell your mates. Don’t tell him. Especially not in front of his wife. Even if she is drunk. Because she’ll probably remember a few days later. And get pissy about it. And her bags under her eyes.

And that’s not cool.

PS. Sorry to Mrs Hardy for the picture. It’s a man being cute. Couldn’t help it.


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