Our darling daughter Cordelia is now a full nine months old. She scares me.
When I first thought about having a baby (well, having my wife have a baby), I didn’t picture infants as being as constantly curious and inquisitive as Cordelia is. She is a constant, vibrating bundle of I Want To Find Things Out.
For example, when I amuse her by making animal noises, she responds by reaching out and touching my mouth. She pokes at my lips. Then she jams her entire hand inside my mouth. How does that happen? How does evolution condition a small primate to react to a creature much larger and with many more teeth by actually putting tender morsels of succulent hand flesh into its mouth?
That really strikes me as a sub-optimal life strategy.
Along these lines, last night was a chilly fall evening, so we lit a fire in the fireplace. We then got to spend the rest of the evening keeping Cordelia from crawling into it.
Our baby. Programmed for self-destruction.
Baby’s First Signs Of Good Taste
Since she’s such an inquisitive little creature, we often amuse Cordelia by exposing her to new objects. For example, I got out the most evil object I own: a snow globe that can play “It’s A Small World”. Again and again.
I put the globe on the floor in front of baby and started it playing its nightmarish little tune. Cordelia was fascinated. She looked at it closely. Then, as it continued to play, she moved over a little and looked at it from a different angle. And then another.
And then she totally freaked out.
She would not stop wailing until the horrible It’s A Small World globe was far away. And daddy comforted her, saying things like “There, there.” and “It’s OK.” and “You’re right, dear. Disney is Satan.”
Refusing to tolerate that song is one of her first signs of good taste. And more reassuring evidence that she is, in fact, my daughter.
Learning This Particular Baby’s Language
I have discovered an actual advantage to being a parent.
Have you ever had a three year old walk up and start talking to you? The kid says something like “I am wamma foop.” And you have no idea what that means, so you say, like a reasonable person, “What did you say?” And the kid says “I am wamma foop!” So you say “I’m sorry. I don’t understand you.” And the kid looks at you like YOU’RE the jerk and gets angry and says “I AM WAMMA FOOP!”
And then the parent walks over and says “Oh, my little angel is just saying he wants food. Why didn’t you give it to him? Jackass.” And takes the child away. And the child thinks you’re an IDIOT.
I hate that.
But now I get my revenge. Now, I will have a kid whose language I understand. Now my daughter will walk up to my friends and go “Barble Baggle Bobble Boo!” and they won’t understand and will get all upset and I get to walk over and say “Cordelia was asking you to take her to the bathroom. Why didn’t you, you dick?”
Ahhhh. That’s going to be pretty sweet.
Get Her Happy. But Not Too Happy.
We occasionally take Cordelia to restaurants, generally right after naps when her scream frequency is the lowest.
Cordelia screams when she is very sad. However, she also screams when she is very happy. Being her parents, our ears are well attuned to her cries, and we can tell a happy scream from a sad one. To the restaurant’s other patrons, however, baby screams are baby screams, and the only proper response to those screams is to drop the baby into a fondue pot.
So, when we’re in a restaurant, we need to walk a thin line. We need to keep the baby so happy that she doesn’t start whining, but we need to keep her from becoming so happy that she starts to scream.
So we give her toys, but only toys she’s bored with. Or we point her towards dull corners of the room. Or we don’t let her see mommy’s face, because that really thrills her.
Another reason parenting books are stupid is that they never give good advice for making your baby less happy.
Learn From My Mistakes
Mayonnaise has the same consistency as baby food. It smells like it could be baby food. It comes in jars, just like baby food.
It is NOT baby food.
What “Turkey With Turkey Gravy” Baby Food Smells Like To Daddy
The meat from the love child of a turkey and a styrofoam cup.
Another Word On the Alleged Meat In Baby Food
You ever see gyro meat? You know, that rotating meat log in Greek restaurants, consisting of horrifying granules of flesh from mysterious animals, compressed like particle board? Meat that has been ground and rendered and processed and rerendered and reprocessed until it’s basically a collection of individual meat molecules? That’s been so heavily altered that it should be considered vegetarian?
I strongly suspect that the meat in baby food is the stuff they won’t even put in gyros.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
No. It Isn’t.
And consider cow anus. I imagine, when they put cow anus in gyro meat, they only use the succulent, moist, fresh cow anus. On the other hand, the cow anus that they dropped on the floor, and picked up, and wiped the lint off it, and dropped it again, and picked it up, and decided not to bother wiping off? That’s the cow anus they grind up and put into baby food.
Baby food meat is boiled, then pureed. To find something worse to do to a piece of meat, you’d have to go to Ireland.
Along those lines, baby formula is a source of great worry to me. I really don’t want to know where they get that white powder. My guess it that it is a concentrated chemical slurry, bound together with powdered horse bone.
The First Law of Probabilistic Likelihood Of Pain-Killer Application
The odds of bringing out the Baby Tylenol before a nap are directly proportional to the desire of mommy and daddy to squeeze in some quick intimacy.
“Quick Intimacy”? What Is This? Some Sort Of Fucking Jane Austen Novel?
Believe me, I used a different term before. Then my wife made it clear that I had to change it, or face horrible consequences.