Returning compliments?

I’ve always been the type to ogle at babies.  In the store, at a restaurant, at the park…it’s built into my DNA to coo and awe at them.  But besides giving a smile and a little wave to the little cutie, I’ve never been the type to make a compliment directly to the parents.  I don’t know if maybe I feel like I’m imposing by saying something, even though it’s a compliment, or if I’m just not the type to say something to someone I don’t know.  Actually, I’m the second.  

Now that I’m a parent with a cutie-patootie of my own I’ve been almost bombarded with compliments on a daily basis about how cute he is.  Now, I’m certainly not going to argue…because he is friggen adorable and he just loves the attention so he plays off of it like a pro.  But even parents with little babies of their own are complimenting little J.  Something about that just seems….odd (?) to me.  I love that everyone thinks he’s so adorable, and we never get tired of hearing it.  But is it weird that so many compliments come from parents of other similarly aged babies?!

Maybe I’m just being silly…

The other part of it is that since I am so terrible at complimenting total strangers (or their little ones), I am also awful at returning the compliments from said parents.  If a parent with a little one compliments J, should I return the compliment as well?  I always seem to miss the obvious opening to do so, and then it’s too late to say something without it sounding forced or fake.

Not that I don’t acknowledge the other child or whomever is giving the compliment.  In most cases I’m talking between J and the child – kind of like narrating what he’s seeing…”ooo you see that pretty girl over there? are you flirting silly boy?” In the meantime we are both waving and smiling at the other baby too…so it’s not like I’m ignoring them.  But I feel weird just saying “thanks! Yours is a cutie too!”  Probably because I’m a little partial now to J and I don’t notice the cuteness of other little ones as much as before.  

Is it just me feeling this parental oddness?!  It’s happening enough that I’m starting to really wonder…

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