This is just a quick post to say that, when I have a child, I’d like The Rock to babysit them.
Please watch The Rock here, in this video of The Rock. Please watch it, go on.
There’s something about that video that I find truly beautiful. I might simply be broody, pining after a baby of my own, but I think that watching a grown man demonstrate such warmth and emotional capacity with children is a truly lovely thing.
What can happen if you approach children with an open mind and are met with near-silence is that you can retreat into yourself, blaming the children for being antisocial little arseholes. The reason I’d love The Rock to babysit my children if and when they are born is that he would understand; he would appreciate that any reticence on the part of the child wouldn’t be because he is bad with kids or scary or a weirdo, as I might be tempted to assume; he would know that it was because children sometimes get shy around people they don’t know. Like any social awkwardness, that’s a difficult thing to overcome. It is far, far easier to give up and blame the child for being a shit. But children don’t respond in the same way as adults when they are introduced to a new person; often a six-year-old won’t shake your hand, make pleasant conversation, and ask, “So, er…how do you know, er-?” They’ll sometimes just sit there, unresponsive, smiling nervously, waiting until they know they can trust you.
What I like about the way Johnson behaves in this video is that he doesn’t give up; though the pressure is on, he just keeps gently applying that Johnson charm, even though his enormous profile means that he is being watched and examined. Lots of celebrities are extremely good with children – they are probably trained to be – but walking into a room like this isn’t something that all that many could pull off. I love that it looks so natural for The Rock.
So yes, what I’ll be doing when my first son or daughter is born is tweeting The Rock with the following: “@TheRock: What you doing Thursday? Wife and I are going to the cinema. Can you watch the baby, maybe? Same rate as before - £30 for the night. DM me.”
One day I will have a baby. And one day Dwayne Johnson will babysit that baby. And goddamnit he’ll do a good job.
Stay hungry, stay humble.
(Illustration: Dan Evans)