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21 December 2007

Party Time

Ethan got to put on his dancing shoes.

It was (ornament) balls to the wall at Emily and Tonya's school and we were invited.

First, Ethan was serenaded with Christmas Carols by a class of 2nd graders who were in her music class when we visited. I had forgotten that Ethan is already known by his nickname around those parts so he was initially greeted with a rousing salutation of "Hello Ethan Thunder Pants!" when we walked in. How sweet. Of course, I got him so lathered up about going to a party, he was fast asleep by the time we got there and he slept through the whole thing.

That is, until we got up to 6th Grade floor and joined the oh-so-cool 6th graders in their festivities. They were already in full 'sugar mortis' and having a baby in the room was like, well, Christmas to some of them. They could not hold him and then pass him around like a cheap date fast enough. And for this I am grateful: a) I brought an industrial sized bottle of hand gel and b) it was not someones birthday, as the frenzy of the event might have resulted in him being mistaken for a pinata.

It is an interesting social exercise to see people's reaction to baby's. To be sure, everybody has one (a reaction, crazy, not a baby!). Some are blase, some are hands off and some are baby mongers. I have encountered all of them and I think it is great. Especially when we can see it coming.

Tonight at another party we saw some good friends who have a little 2.5 year old boy who is all boy and very curious. His mom was holding Ethan and her little boy could not get enough of Ethan. He wanted to hold him, play with him and, we think, eat his fingers. Actually, there was a sense of awe and playfulness that he had that young kids seem to have but older kids and certainly adults sometimes lose. It was really neat to see how genuinely interested this boy was. For a second he reminded me of me when I first encountered Stretch Armstrong.

As a dog handler, I have travelled through many airports among lots and lots of people while in transit with my K9 partner. There I have noticed a similar social dynamic exists; people are either dog mongers, hands off or cautious, bordering on dis-interested.

I wonder if the same people that want to pet my dog would also want to hold my child? Or if the same person who glances away when they see a baby coo-ing at them would do the same if a dog were giving them the "I am adorable, give me cookie" gaze?

And lastly, I wonder if you let a pack of wild dog's loose in the school during the school's collective Christmas parties ... if you would be able to tell the wild kids apart from the wild dogs?

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