Our son’s latest developmental stage involves greeting random people. “Hi!” he says, to us, to store clerks, to ladies on the street. Last night on the way home, reports my wife, he waved and shouted “hi!” to two middle-aged ladies on the steps of a nearby church, and completely flattened them with his cuteness. (As well he should, being that he’s the cutest child on earth.)
I should be delighted by this, and I usually am, particularly when I walk in the front door to a big smiley greeting. Yet it does trigger a faint troubling tickle at the very back of my mind. What he’s doing is, when you get down to it, Talking to Strangers, and I’ve seen more than my share of After-School Specials, so I know that talking to strangers is not good. It’s fine now, when he’s 18 months old and stroller-bound. Soon enough, though, he won’t be, and then I guess we have to start addressing that.