Friday, July 15, 2005

Scary Beards

Apparently, bearded men scare little children. Years ago, while in line at the grocery store, I noticed that the toddler sitting in the cart ahead of us was staring at me. I started sticking my tongue out at him and making faces. Pretty soon, the child was in tears. I immediately started apologizing to his mother and she dismisses it, saying "Oh, his pediatrician has a beard. He thinks you're going to give him a shot."

Apparently, even children with beardless pediatricians can be scared by bearded men, however.

When I got home, I opened the door to see my niece K--- and sister-in-law M--- in the living room. K--- immediately froze and just stared at me. I said hello to her, but didn't approach or make any sudden moves. I could see she was a little unsure of me, so I figured we'd take things easy.

Later in the evening, Celeste and K--- were sharing a bath and Evelin and M--- were trying to get a picture with both of them looking and smiling. I thought I'd be funny and pop my head in and make a face. The first time it got a good "dæ di!" from Celeste and a what-the-hell look from K---; the second time, K--- was in tears.

Throughout the evening, K--- has been watching me very warily, so I've been trying to stay out of her way. Maybe tomorrow, if she's a little more comfortable in a strange place, we can be properly reintroduced ... and I won't be as scary (although, if she watches me installing the dishwasher, that could be scary for many reasons ...)


enjanerd said...

I think it has something to do with the beard obscuring your face. Kind of like how kids in the 2-4 age range tend to be scared of clowns... it's because they're just getting used to what to expect from faces and then clowns have these mis-shapen proportions. It's really scary! :) -j.

T. Carter said...

I'm sure you have something there. I know beards aren't exactly common, so there's no reason to expect the average 1-year-old or 2-year-old to really know what to make of some hairy-faced stranger. Plus, K--- is scared of dogs and other animals; I'm sure all my extra fur didn't help that phobia ...