Paul Stamets and Toddlers though...
I have this HC that Paul is really anxious around little kids. I mean talking to adults can be hard enough. Talking to and interacting with kids, especially toddlers, however, is a whole nother level. What if he accidentally hurts them, or makes them cry? And how are they able to understand him anyway? They can barely form coherent sentences. (I am also very certain, that Paul is not able to understand the way toddlers talk.) That’s why whenever the topic children comes up, Paul insists that he isn’t cut out to be a father.
One day Hugh asks him, whether he could watch his niece (I always imagine Hugh with at least one sister who has children) since he has an extra shift at work or needs to step in for a coworker. So Paul, who can’t say no to his boyfriend, finds himself in front of this three-year-old girl, who is just staring at him. He’s already fearing the worst. Screaming, tears…. both probably on either side and a young girl who never wants to visit her uncle again, because he is in a relationship with such a mean guy.
However, when Hugh returns that evening, he finds the two of them, kneeling in front of some of Paul’s mushrooms, while the astromycologist tries to explain the mycelium network in as simple words as he can find. And that’s when he is sure that Paul would manage just fine as a father.
Extra: Hugh’s niece giving Paul a kiss on the cheek while saying goodbye and asking her parents when she can visit the funny Mushroom-man again.