For a short period last year I would regularly FaceTime with a random baby.
The Baby would often phone me during the early afternoon. I never saved the phone number, so I’d often pick up. I was also unemployed at the time, so (a) was always available and (b) was always hoping it was a recruiter calling with an opportunity.
So the first time it called I picked up with my most professional smile plastered on, after running in my underwear from my bed to a room with a wall that resembled an office.
But it wasn’t a recruiter. It was a baby.
He was a fine baby, about 8 months old with straight, blond hair. He may even have been sitting on his mom’s knee, but she wasn’t looking. As soon as I realized I was FaceTiming in my undies with a random baby, I obviously hung up.
Imagine if Mom were to look down and see me staring back. Me on the video chat with her bonny boy. How could I possibly explain that? I was relieved, I felt I’d dodged a bullet.
But the bullets kept flying. The Baby started calling me regularly after that. Most of the times I’d just let it ring, but I also picked up too many times by accident.
When I would absentmindedly answer the phone, sometimes I’d be confronted with The Baby. Mom never seemed to be there, or was just off in the background. The Baby would stare back at me, prod at the screen, do baby stuff. Fearing Mom would come back and accuse me of being a pedophile I’d always quickly hang up, rather than sticking around to explain myself. No big deal.
But everything was about to change. In June this year – after a bit of a lull in contact – I got a FaceTime call from The Baby. Thinking it was hilarious that I had now received about 6 calls from a strange infant, I didn’t hang up straight away, I tried to take a screenshot. As I was doing that, Mom appeared out of nowhere. Her face. I’ll never forget it. It dropped like an ice cream cone on a hot day. Like a brand new iPhone just out the box. Like peanut butter-jelly toast, face-fucking-down.
This time it was she who quickly hung up.
Shit. Now I look like a creep. Thanks a lot, Baby. It didn’t help that I was lying in bed – again – when it called.
About 10 minutes later my phone started ringing. It was The Baby’s number. Begrudgingly I picked up. This time, two concerned, adult faces peered back at me, brows deeply furrowed. They wanted an explanation.
What could I say? I told them the truth. Look – your baby has been calling me fairly frequently for about 8 months. We don’t chat or anything, but sometimes I accidentally pick up. I probably should have told you but it was an awkward situation.
Turns out my number used to belong to the mom. It was attached to some sort of speed dial code. They apologized and said they’d sort it out with the phone company. They promised I wouldn’t get any more calls from The Baby.
But I kind of miss The Baby’s surprise calls. He was far more reliable than those shitty recruitment agents.