Babystalking: For all your sidepiece needs.
As a biological female who is nearing her early 30s, I've noticed a lot of men have begun to treat me differently than they used to. Rather than simply offering to buy me a drink to get my attention, men who are trying to impress me now have a different tactic of choice: babies.
Single childless men, under the assumption that I want to have kids of my own to raise, will often wax poetic about their desire to procreate and "be great fathers." Single dads, on the other hand, tend to be on dating sites and are typically upfront about the fact that they already have kids.
I can usually figure out the ones that are actually single because of the fact that they tend to be very picky about who they date. After all, no respectable parent wants a trainwreck around their kids.
And then, there's the married dad who still tries to get side action. They tend to hit on women in a very, very different way. It was only when I ran into one in the wild that I realized the tactic they use.
I was in Walmart, shopping for my weekly cases of energy drink, when all of a sudden, I saw an older guy pushing a cart with a toddler passing by. He caught sight of me, and began to start talking to his kid.
"Look at the lady," he cooed in my direction. "Isn't she a nice lady? Say hi to the lady!"
The toddler just stared at me, as toddlers are apt to do. I stared back, confused and mildly annoyed at his rampant use of the word "lady." Clearly, something wasn't going according to whatever plan he had in mind. I don't deal much with kids, so I couldn't figure out if he just wanted the kid to talk or if he was just being creepy toward me.
He continued, "Say hi to the lady! She probably will give you a big smile."
Me and the toddler still both looked confused at this point. He began to push his cart towards mine, and bumped it slightly. At this point, I was getting weirded out and slowly backing into my beloved shelf of energy drink boxes.
"I'm sure she'll smile any minute. Women love kids, right?" he said, basically prodding me for an answer. Before I could answer, a female voice rang out from the aisle right next to ours.
"Honey! Did you find the grape juice yet?" called out a woman. The bozo with the toddler immediately gave a deer-in-the-headlights stare in my direction and shuffled off with a bottle of grape juice tucked under his arm.
It didn't take too long for me to realize who that woman was: it was his wife.
When I asked a fellow childfree friend what to make of the situation, she wasn't the least bit surprised. Apparently, I had just experienced the first time a married man babystalked me.
Babystalking is a term that's used to describe the way men will often use their own kids to try to get women's numbers.
Most frequently, this tactic isn't used by men who are actually single. Rather, it's used by married men who want to have a (very naïve) side piece. The idea is that women love kids, and that they want kids of their own. Men assume that women who see them taking care of a kid will want to sleep with them or date them, simply because they are somewhat responsible dads.
However: It's clearly a married man's tactic for side chicks. A single man would be much more careful about vetting who goes near their child or who becomes a mother of their child.
With married guys, they already have a wife who will look after their kid. They aren't looking to change that situation. Rather, they're looking for quick play on the side. They'll just have fun, then disappear, using "kid time" as an excuse.
Obviously, babystalking doesn't work on everyone, especially people like myself who don't want to raise kids or give birth. But what about women who actually are going a bit baby-crazy? Could it work on them?
Considering the fact that this happens on a fairly regular basis, a lot of women probably do end up chatting with these guys. That being said, most married men who use this tactic are setting themselves up for divorce later on. All it takes is one broken condom, one off-kilter question directed at the mom, or one epic texting fail to bring the truth to light.
After having experienced being the target of babystalking, I feel like I need to say something to guys who do this:
First off, it's not fair to your kids. You might be confusing them, and you're teaching them some pretty terrible values. Secondly, you have a wife at home, and she's the real mother to your kids. Stop being a jerk to her, and appreciate the fact that she puts up with your sh*t.
Lastly, this flirting tactic is getting really old, really fast. Stop it.