|OK, my face can be kind of scary, but I've got nothing on this terrifying "training baby" doll!|
The very first baby I held at the home was a little boy just a few months old who I shall call Napoleon, because his real name is equally grandiose and also because he was particularly tiny. While a lot of babies were in and out of care, or stayed for a month or two then left for good, no one ever came back for Napoleon. Visiting every week, I was able to develop much more of a bond with him than with kids I saw less frequently. One day, when he was about 15 months old, Napoleon was having a hard time. He was teething, he had a slight fever, and another kid had hit him over the head with a wooden block. I was giving him a cuddle but he was crying very hard. At this in-opportune time, a staff member came in with a new "observer", an older lady who took one look at the situation and announced "He's scared of you because he isn't used for foreign faces, I'll clam him down." She confidently strolled over, plucked Napoleon from my arms and spun her back to me to shield him from the terrifying sight of my big nose and lack of epicanthic fold. "There there" she said, "you're OK now."
Actually, for a few seconds Napoleon did stop crying. I guess being unceremoniously grabbed by a complete stranger will have that effect. Before she could congratulate herself on her success, however, the "observer" copped a punch to the face (from Napoleon, not me). He punched and kicked and squirmed until she put him down, upon which he ran back to me, threw himself into my lap and buried his face in my neck.
Miss you, Napoleon. My scary face thinks of you often.