An event happened a few months ago which got me thinking. I was in a restaurant in Abuja. As I was waiting for my bill, I was people watching. There was a family with young children but there was one child who was about 4 years old who caught my eye. Let’s call him ‘Tunde’ (a totally random name selection. Trust meJ). He was very boisterous and was running around having fun. Now there was a couple on a date who were about to eat. So of course we all know what happened next don’t we?
‘Tunde’ headed straight for the couple. He stood close to them making faces first of all. The boyfriend (or wannabe boyfriend) who already had enough on his hands trying to impress his date now had a new situation on his hands. He played it well for the first few minutes. His date looked at ‘Tunde’ with the classic ‘Ohhhh isn’t he cute?’ expression. Of course the played along in the hope that ‘Tunde’ would get bored and move to his next ‘victim’.
But ‘Tunde’ had other ideas. He hopped on the seat next to the boyfriend and decided he wanted to play or at least get a bite of his burger. The boyfriend now didn’t really know what to do. His date still thought ‘Tunde’ was cute and from across the room, ‘Tunde’s’ parents were watching the whole situation and they also thought ‘Tunde’ was being cute.
The boyfriend had entered the ‘Cute’ Twilight Zone. An alternate reality where ‘Tunde’ ruled and could bend the wills of Adults because they thought he was cute. I knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to shout ‘Get him away from me! And no I don’t think he’s cute!’. But he couldn’t fight the power. He just had to sit there. I must admit I felt sorry for him. I didn’t blame ‘Tunde’. He was just having fun. But I feel his parents could have helped the poor boyfriend out a bit. After all he was polite and didn’t loose his temper. ‘Tunde’ was on him for over 15 minutes and his food even got cold.
I’ll always remember something a good friend once said to me after about a year of being a father. ‘My wife and I have to keep reminding ourselves that not everyone thinks our daughter’s cute’