Daddy Delusions

02 Dec

(Copyright 2008 by Valentine J. Brkich. First printed in the Nov. 2008 edition of The Point North Magazine, Wexford, Pa.)

Attention all guys: Want to know what it’s like to be famous? Do you want to know what it feels like to turn heads when you walk into a room? Would you like to have the same admiration of such big-name celebs as Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Then strap a baby to your chest. Preferably, a cute one.

Just recently, my wife and I were out at one of Western PA’s many fine autumn festivals. Our baby girl isn’t much for strollers, so we bought one of those Swedish, yuppie front-side baby carrier thingies. She loves it. She kicks her feet and waves her hands as she bounces up and down with my every step. We sort of look like Siamese twins, except that we don’t look very much alike, and I’m a few decades older.

During the festival, nearly every person we passed was oohing and awing at our little diaper diva, commenting on her cuteness, pointing her out to friends and relatives and—I’ll admit it—making Daddy feel very much like a celebrity.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. They’re not fawning over you, you idiot, but rather the cute little baby that’s strapped to your chest. Obviously, I know this. I may be somewhat dopey and unable to do simple math in a hurry, say, in the line at the drive through, but I am able to grasp the fact that these people are taken by my daughter and not by me.

But what’s so wrong about pretending? It’s not as if I’m some overbearing “stage dad,” parading my daughter in a baby beauty pageant or forcing her to practice golf so that she’ll be the next Tiger (or Tigress) Woods. I’m just strapping her to my chest and frequenting public festivals so that I can pretend that the adoration she’s getting for being innately cute is actually adoration for me for being freakishly handsome, smart, and talented. It’s way more fun than the type of “make believe” that Mr. Roger’s promoted.

Trust me, fellas, nothing draws attention, specifically female attention, better than an adorable little baby. A lot of people will try to tell you that a puppy works just as well. But I disagree. Just try putting a dog in a front-side carrier and watch the looks that people give you. Besides, every time you walk past a tree the dog pees all over you. Been there, done that.

If only I had known all this back when I was single. Back then, girls avoided looking at me as if I were a solar eclipse, Medusa, or the Elephant Man. Little did I know that all I had to do was strap a baby to my chest and I’d be the toast of the town. Ah, but hindsight is 20/20.

As we were leaving the festival, my wife and I passed a young couple going the other way. The guy was one of those big, burly football-player types. As they passed us, I heard the girl lean in and ask him if he could ever see himself wearing a baby on his chest, making it sound like a bad thing. I turned back and caught him looking back at me. I smiled; he gave me a look that said “dork.” That’s okay, Big Burly Football-Player Guy. You may laugh at me now, but remember: I was once just like you (only much skinnier and awkward, and sans girlfriend). Don’t be surprised if, one day, you find yourself wearing a baby on your chest and soaking up the attention from every female in sight. There are worse ways to spend the afternoon.

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Posted by on December 2, 2008 in Uncategorized


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