One of the other people in the department brought in his eight-month-old baby. I don't know the exact reason, but it did mean the end of the day was just everyone standing around in the main office smiling and saying his name several different ways and posing for all sorts of pictures. It's marvelous having that much cheer in one place. It's also great having a half-dozen or more adults all simultaneously trying to make a sort of half-whistling, half-hooting sound that makes him smile.
I was trusted to hold the child for nearly ten seconds before a woman took him away for safety. That's probably about right. I have to admit to treating children as I do wild animals; to marvel and admire them, but not attempt physical contact unless all the alternatives are clearly more dangerous.
I couldn't help noticing the kid kept staring at me, though, and my nice, luscious, fluffy beard, often grinning or looking terrified at it. Facial hair tends to be rare around here, and huge, thick hair like mine -- all those Eastern European genes in me, you know, readying me for winter so I resemble a Wookie, or maybe the Bear in the Big Blue House -- is even rarer. Still, now I've got the disconcerting feeling that toddlers are laughing at my appearance.
Mind, they should, but I didn't realize that they did.
Trivia: On July 21, 1768, burglars broke into the Perth Amboy mansion of Stephen Skinner and made off with approximately 6,750 pounds. Skinner was the treasurer of East New Jersey, and the sum was almost the entire public treasury. Source: Jerseyana: The Underside of New Jersey History, Marc Mappen.
Currently Reading: European History, 1648-1789, Robert M. Rayner.