Baby Please! Infantile behavior in the workplace…

I work with a bunch of babies. It’s true, I’m talking about real whiny little babies. Maybe not bunches of them, but three or four come to mind right now, that I work with on a weekly basis.

When parents come to our restaurant, and they have little kids. I want to take special care of the youngsters. I can see that making the children happy, can make the whole dining experience go smoother for the family, and sometimes dining room, as a whole.

If a couple has a very small child, one that may need held because they’re squirmy in their seat, or maybe getting fussy, I am glad to help out. Just yesterday, I had lots of fun, bussing tables and checking on customers while holding onto my little friend Owen. His parents enjoyed the time to eat with both hands free, and even told me they considered it a mini-date, in that their time to eat alone is rare.

Yeah, I work with these babies, and I notice something interesting. When I grab up a little guy, or little gal, they tend to be so willing and open to being hauled around the restaurant by a stranger. I don’t spend all my time cooing and cuddling, we get to work. I just scoop them up and go about my (pretty much) normal tasks.

It amazes me, that these kids don’t start screaming, or get audibly scared that a stranger has ahold of them. These aren’t children that I see all the time, they really don’t know me at all. They seem to be fine with that. I’m also pretty sure that they haven’t been constantly carried around in a strange place like our restaurant, with it’s loud clankings and laughter, and general craziness. It can’t be normal to them, and peaceful and serene… it ain’t.

The reason it stands out to me, that these little little tykes seem to react just fine to being dragged around, is that we’re on the move. We are getting to work. We aren’t stopping and sitting and taking notice of the strangeness of it all. That is my assessment of their infantile thoughts anyway.

How should I know, I don’t have kids. My opinion is probably worthless, but just take a moment with me to consider the value of this idea.

Maybe, when we’re moving quickly and at work, real productive work, we don’t have time to let our mind wander and get scared. Maybe, staying in the mode of movement, is a way that we understand, even as babies, is an okay mode to be in. We can feel safety in the canter of direct and intentional motion.

At the restaurant, the pace is quick. Especially, when the dinner rush hits. We all are in action, Everyone. We are all in process of going from one task to the next, as quickly as safely possible, ready to find out our next move, or project or request to fill. During this rush, many times, I experience a strange heightened sense of energy and assertive calm. Not sure it appears that way to others, but to me, it is there. Give me a challenge, I’ll accept, and act, right now. Go!

I’m not always in motion though. Especially at home. I can sink quickly there, solidifying into a slow breathing lump of blah, sitting in front of the computer, using my bent wooden backscratcher, and just leaving it stuck between me and the chair, till the next wintry dry itch.  Maybe it’s morning time, when I’m moving slow. My late nights, are my excuse. I don’t want to move. I draaaag out little things, I stall, and double-back and procrastinate until I’m late again. These are the times I whine most. The times I have to think, the times I have to ponder, and to judge, are the times when I act like a real cry-baby.

Yeah, when I’m slowing down in a non-intentional way, when I just get ‘busy’, I’m letting my mind have room to run. I find myself mulling over sentences that were said the day or night or year before. I replay a scene in my mind, I re-see a failure or twelve of mine. Sometimes even, if going through a rougher patch of a relationship, I will let my mind whittle and slice away at one individual person. I can begin a carving process where I have mentally shaved off anything positive I could perceive about someone, leaving only an exposed raw point of them, that I resent…

Hmm… Sometimes the one I whittle and cut, is myself.

Yeah, when I am sitting (mentally) locked into my comfy child-seat, with no where for my wiggles to go, I get antsy and squirmy and even crazy. I have learned from the little babies at the restaurant, that I do need to get out on the go. I need to get to work. I need to be in a productive moment of action. I then, can not really relax, but re-purpose, my energy, in good ways.

A 34 year old baby like me, can be a real brat, when I’m stuck. The funny part, is that so many things I have fought to achieve over the last few years, have been in pursuit of freedom. Freedom from debt, freedom from an 8-5 job, freedom from addictions too. These things have left me with extra ‘free’ time on my hands. My idle hands. And they have literally become the devil’s playthings.

So, I am glad this week, to tell you that I work with a bunch of babies. I am happy that I do. I like them things. My sister Jessica, told me a looong time ago, that when we see a baby, we see how we are naturally, and most properly designed to move. She was talking about posture, and how they bend at the knees, to pick up a ball. I see more than that though. They are open and trusting and wide eyed, not worrying in their world, although they can provide themselves with absolutely nothing.

When they are on the go, they are happy. They’re learning and growing and beaming with possibility. They know the truths of how our universe works, and they haven’t been filled all full of limiting beliefs yet, by the ‘grown’ and ‘wise’, big-people of the world.

I realize that I am just gloating here, that I held a kid, and they didn’t cry. I know, you may think that is all this is… But I hope I can see more in this ‘little’ lesson they’ve taught me, than just my own self affirming story.

If I am whining and crying and squirmy and upset, I may need my diaper changed, or something to eat, or an afternoon nap. But if all that stuff is taken care of, maybe I just need to move my butt. Maybe I need to get to work on something. Maybe the motion I can create in my life right now, can obliterate the fixation I have on the ‘what is wrong-ness’, and I can literally move on, get over it.

Maybe, I can get back to that tender state of well-being we were designed for. To move and to create and serve. To learn and express. Art in motion, youthful exuberance, bringing smiles wherever we go. That is being a baby, in the best way 🙂

Let’s all be babies today 🙂


Aaron Nichols

6 thoughts on “Baby Please! Infantile behavior in the workplace…

  1. What joy, I found in caring for babes as a mother and grandmother.
    We are naturally drawn to babes, watching their reaction and progress–
    simply the opposite of what takes place in our aging population.
    Regardless of our age we still have heart-felt love for the little people!!

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