Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arresting Development

As most of you know, when a baby enters the world, everybody becomes intensely curious about the kid’s progress. Folks want to know where your baby is on the evolutionary ladder. Is she crawling? Has she teethed yet? Is she walking? Is she eating solids?

You can’t blame folks, they’re just interested in new life, but as new parents, you start feeling a little defensive. When will she start crawling? Why doesn’t she take her first steps? What is so hard about the Pythagorean Theorum? Why isn’t Poohbutt getting it?

I try to ignore the pressure, but we all greet each new development in our babies’ lives with a sigh of relief. That is until recently. I’ve discovered that some things your baby does are just downright disturbing.

It happened yesterday afternoon. Daddy (when did I start referring to myself in the third person?) thought he would encourage his little girl to nap by laying her down on the floor next to him and napping himself. I don’t know if it worked for her, but I got a few, much-needed winks. And then it happened. Our Grand Poohbutt displayed her new, mad skillz.

I blame genetics and her cousin Taishan (he’s a month and a day older than our girl and I’m really questioning his role model status). See, that boy can scream. And not your normal, run-of-the-mill Psycho, blood-curdling scream. No, this is glass-shattering, ear-bleeding, banshee screams that flay the skin, madden the mind, and make you beg for a merciful death. And every time I pick that boy up, he squirms right up to my ear, and lets loose. I hold on tight while my eyes roll back in my head and my eardrums start bleeding. Once, I came to to find a whole pack of wild animals outside the in-laws’ door looking as though they were awaiting orders. I’ve tried everything—bribery, intimidation, pleas for familial solidarity. Nothing. That boy cannot be bought. He just loves screaming in Uncle Bill’s ear. The only thing that gave me any solace was knowing that Pooh could never scream like that.

I rested peacefully in that knowledge until yesterday when I was rocked by that scream coming from my daughter. I gasped. My girl’s face was red, blood trickled down my lobes, wedding china shattered, wolves bayed, there was a ten-car pile-up on I-495.

As I’m typing this, my wife and daughter are fighting in the bath tub, my daughter’s newfound gift on full display. I guess I should go help, but, frankly, I’m scared. Right outside our sliding-glass door are four deer, six dogs, and 32 chipmunks awaiting my daughter’s command.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif... said...

Don't worry. There's hope for you.

One day she'll be 18, like my daughter, and you'll be the one screaming like a banshee. :)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song

Candy Minx said...

I think I could hear that scream from here! I just checked my "goodreads" messages and found your message about this-your blog! Cool!!! Welcome to blogland and I gave you a shout out at my blog, so hopefully you'll get a couple new visitors.

Cheers and I've really enjoyed what I've read so far.