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Humour | Lockdown’s super babies

A generous outflow of babies appeared during the pandemic — suggesting that Netflix probably came in second in the entertainment stakes while locked down. And no, Amazon Prime wasn’t the first. Now growing up, these babies have demonstrated inexplicable syndromes that have psychologists scratching their heads. Recognise these?

Multiple Shoe Disorder

Lockdown Baby has no idea why a shoe exists, definitely not why many shoes do. She will refuse to wear any. She will grow up to single-footedly destroy the shoe industry which will accuse her of toe-much footscrimination. Worldwide, she will be feted for feats of feet-freeing. She will become a shoe-burning activist, and pad around barefoot, ankling for justice, baring her sole.

Lip-o-phobia

Lockdown Baby breaks down when shown people in a book. She is convinced that faces consist of eyes, eyebrows, and a large cloth patch. The only noses and mouths she sees are of her own parents. Everyone else is masked. Seeing a stranger’s nose — or God forbid, lips or teeth — is red alert! Big-bad-wolf equivalent in baby terms. Cover the faces in your book — and Baby will transform into a higher-order bookaholic instantly.

God Complex

Lockdown Toddler harbours the conspiracy theory that his school is a screen. Teachers and classmates are an inch tall, and in little cages on a laptop. The Toddler towers over them. Even better, with the flick of his chubby jam-covered finger on the mouse, he can make their voices disappear, and their faces too. Yawn! He decides when to turn the room of people off. On. Off. The God Complex will fade, thank God (the one upstairs).

Bell Curve

No other sound will carve Lockdown Baby’s growth as much as the doorbell. It rings and brings tidings of great joy. Nappies. Toys. Groceries and Mommy smiles. Baby’s hearing evolves to better than an owl’s. (Yes, owls have ears, one is up on their heads, and since your baby is in competition, go check this out now!) Baby can tell from the ring of the doorbell whether it is ice-cream or medicine for tummy-ache from that ice-cream.

Rubber-ball-ism

Contrary to what it suggests, this is not the shape that Baby will become, despite Mommy’s complaints that all-eat-and-no-gym is rapidly turning her spherical. No. Lockdown Baby is a knockdown baby with an innate ability to bounce back. Having rolled through the toughest times, with no play and no playmates, with worry lines and whispers from those she loves, with the future as impenetrable as fog — Lockdown Baby will emerge fighting. The chubby legs will grow stocky enough to withstand any rocking of the boat, the sparkling eyes far-sighted, able to spot the faintest glimmer of a silver lining. Lockdown Baby will grow stronger and braver than we grown-ups give her credit for, and more, honestly, than we ourselves are.

Where Jane De Suza, author of Flyaway Boy, pokes her nose into our perfect lives.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 2:41:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/pandemic-lockdowns-super-babies/article34557186.ece

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