Our six month old daughter, Cordelia, is cruising happily through her infancy. She continues to be a smiling, fuzzy, little ball of pudge and, far and away, the cutest baby in our house.
She continues to develop. For example, she has reached deep within herself and discovered her Inner Scream. Then, unfortunately, she took her Inner Scream and made it into her Outer Scream. Going “EEEEEEEEE!” every few seconds is now her primary form of communication. I’m not sure what she means when she does this. I think she just means “EEEEEEEEE!”
Thanks to the screaming, our taking the baby out with us to dinner options are becoming very limited. Personally, I think we should be allowed to take Cordelia anyplace, even nice restaurants, as long as that place is also frequented by assholes with cell phones. I think Cordelia is infinitely cuter than a cell phone, even a phone whose ring is the chorus to “I Want a New Drug.” But life is not fair.
Progressing From Limpet To Turtle
The child has become mobile. It turns out, once you know how to roll over, if you repeat that same rolling-over motion enough times, you will get places. Like the stairs.
Cordelia is enjoying her new-found mobility greatly. Now daddy is able to watch TV for up to 10 uninterrupted minutes while his little girl flops her way across the room. Eventually, of course, she reaches a chair or table leg and gets completely and permanently stuck. Reversing direction is not something Cordelia approves of. To her, I think, changing direction shows a certain fickleness and lack of character. If she hits a wall, she’s going through that wall or nowhere at all.
Babies are dopey.
I am pleased to announce, however, that Cordelia has raised her capabilities to the same level as the turtle I got in seventh grade. This turtle, whose name was Cannibal (for reasons of little interest), was not a pet that interacted gladly with its owner. To “play” with Cannibal meant to pick it up and put it on the floor in the center of the living room. it would then walk forward until it hit a wall, at which point it would stop and never move again. This is not unlike “playing” with Cordelia now.
Eventually, Cannibal learned a trick. It urinated whenever I picked it up. Again, it has this behavior in common with my daughter. While this pee reflex prevented me from ever playing with Cannibal again (making little diapers out of tissue paper was not successful), I have to keep playing with Cordelia. Pee or no pee.
The Parade of Ugly Babies
Up until recently, I thought that becoming a parent makes all babies look cute to you. Sadly, this is not true. There are plenty of ugly babies out there, lurking, waiting to spoil your faith in the future.
Recently, I went to the local farmer’s market. And, I swear, they must have declared Ugly Baby Day. They were everywhere. There were older kids with misshapen skulls, as if the head had been squeezed out of shape during the passage through the vagina (which always happens) and never actually reverted back to normal (which doesn’t). Exhausted babies with big bags under their eyes. Kids with incredibly unappealing facial features, as if they had been rearranged by some sort of evil Infant Head Shaping Mold like they once used on girls in China.
And there was one kid who had this enormous skull. Normal body, normal face, massive skull. He looked like a baby supervillain. Like the kid was going to grow up and get a cape and change his name to Telepatho.
I swear. Every baby I saw, I wanted to hit it with a stick.
So I guess parents don’t see every baby as cute. Heck, you don’t have to see your own kid as cute. You just have to see your kid as “Deserving of food.” Once you got that, you’re basically covered.
Awww. What a Pwecious Wittle Bit of Fuzz
Cordelia made another growth milestone today. She’s developing a tiny, soft little bit of brown fuzz on the flat area between her eyes.
That’s right. Baby is working on her first little unibrow.
A Rethinking Of the Issue of Video Cameras
In the previous installment, I stated when it was OK to shoot and show video tapes of babies doing cute baby things: never, under any circumstances. Videos of babies are like those tapes they make of fish swimming in an aquarium that you’re supposed to show to your cat.
However, though I am nearly infallible, every great once in a while I make a mistake. Of course, when this occurs, I almost immediately isolate the flaw in my reason and excise it with laser-like precision. This is one of those cases. I have since realized that it is important for any parents, whenever possible, to have a video camera.
This is why. Consider the following scenario: I am playing with Cordelia on the floor. I hand her a rattle, or a hat, or whatever. She dutifully plays with it. Then she looks up at me, smiles, and says, for the very first time, “Daddy.” And then I suddenly die of a brain aneurysm.
Wouldn’t that be horrible!?!? I mean, if I didn’t have video tapes of a baby, well then I can’t look at a baby. Good. All babies, give or take, are the same, differing only in clothes and skin tone. But I, on the other hand, am really interesting! If I died, how would Cordelia ever get to look and listen and see how neat I am? How cute I am, the neat noises I make, how interesting I am when I play with MY toys?
So what I am going to do is rent a video camera and make a few films of me playing with her. She’ll eventually watch them and get to see how loving and wonderful I was. How I helped her sit up. How I was usually able to catch her when she fell. How skilled I was at simultaneously looking after her and watching TV. How I didn’t flinch when I held her up in the air and she drooled on my face. How I wiped up her feces.
It’ll be very poignant, of course. But, when I think of the horror that would be her experiencing life without me, well, it seems a small price to pay.
This Week’s Final Milestone
Cordelia made her first classic, adult-style poo. Firm, dry, rounded. Really a model of craftsmanship.
Well, actually, that’s how I imagine it. My wife described it to me after disposing of it, without calling me in so I could see it first, with my own eyes. This was upsetting to me. If I can’t get a picture of her first nice, solid poo, what the fuck am I keeping a baby album for, anyway?
My Current Answering Machine Message:
“Hello. You have reached the home of Jeff Vogel and Mariann Krizsan. We can’t answer the phone right now, because we’re too busy looking at the BABY! Babies are SO CUTE! We LOVE babies! BABIES BABIES BABIES!”
It’s even starting to disturb me.