The baby shrieks making his mother rock him from side to side in an attempt to quiet him. Her efforts bear no fruit. The child wails even more. A young man sitting next to her looks away trying hard to hide his displeasure. I am sitting on the last row in the taxi heading to Ntinda, directly behind the lady with the child. I am using public means of transport for my commute the whole of this week. From my position, I have a pretty good view of the spectacle at hand.
The child cries some more reverberating the taxi with the loud sounds he is making. His mother, embarrassed, tells him a beating is eminent should he not keep quiet. The warning falls on deaf ears. The little fella continues to scream. The mood in the taxi generally falls into two categories. Some people ignore the child and seem unfazed by the ruckus he is causing. I suspect these are parents; people that are typically well schooled in the department of ceaselessly crying babies. The second category has people that are seriously irked by the crying child. Individuals that typically expect a quiet ride in a taxi as they retire home.
It is in this moment that I remember a video I watched on Facebook many months ago. Some mystery doctor had a way of quieting a crying child by simply carrying them, tilted to one side of their body. I toy with a hypothetical scenario. “What if I ask the lady with the screaming baby to hand him to me so that I can try this maneuver on the child?” A list of probable outcomes seems likely:
a) The mother hands me the child, I try the carrying maneuver and the child continues to wail. I am instantly transformed into the wiseacre that meddled where he shouldn’t have. I become stuck with the crying baby. This possibility would also show me if the doctor on Facebook was simply a masquerader.
b) The maneuver works on the child and he immediately goes quiet. I become the famous taxi baby whisperer. The man that made the unstoppable baby stop crying.
c) The mother refuses to hand me the child and screams that I am trying to steal her crying baby. This would be a quagmire too complex for me to extract myself from. What would you say in defense of such an accusation especially during the dangerous times we are living in. Mob justice is still a real thing in Uganda. So I decide to let crying babies cry after all safety comes first.