Why do I have to be the one to witness a baby being tortured with jewelry at 10 o’clock in the morning?
I was on my way to a go-see for a post-menopausal drug…yes, this is what happens to old models. You go from Gucci to hormone replacement without passing go.
The train was unusually empty for that hour except for me, a sailor, a couple of school kids, a Black woman the size of a mountain and three Latino women with a baby.
Could have been an add for diversity in our fair city.
As the number 6 wormed its way down Lex, I’m sitting right across from a 4 month-old who, in her little lavender dress that poofed at the bottom, looked like all she needed was a lampshade. She was held by, who may have been a very young grandmother, while the other two women, in their early 20s at most one being the mom, sat on either side. I was charmed of course: puppies and babies, kittens and Little People, my specialty.
I loved her black ringlets curling in the back watching Granny kiss her now and then on her itty-bitty forehead. She had chubby legs adorned with anklets and shiny black ballerinas.
Suddenly she starts screaming at the top of her teeny lungs. Mom was trying to force an earring into her ear and she wasn’t having it.
Have you ever tried shoving an earring in when it doesn’t want to cooperate? It’s a killer. But these women were determined she was wearing hoops, and that was that. This is what happens when babies have babies.
Why Granny didn’t put her foot down was a mystery, but then again, all Latino infants get their ears pierced like a Spanish circumcision.
Let me just say, when I hear a kid cry, I’m at attention always responding in some way and this wasn’t going to be any different. They were torturing this kid for their own sick fashion sense, like when I’m forced to wear polyester….oh no, not on my watch senoritas.
As I was about to intervene, Big Black Mama did it for me, and was she fabulous. She got up, stood in front of these three women and said, “You stop hurtin that bayba’, you hea me? That choll’ don’t need no jew’ry. She’s a bayba’…you cut it out…YOU HEA ME?”
I watched the sailor nod and the school kids look away from their iPhones. I became her instant wingman saying, “YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT.”
These three women looked petrified, and the baby…bless her little, happy heart giggled as if to say…”You tell-em Big Mama.”
And then I got off the train.