Saturday, October 2, 2010

Foot in Mouth

My son has mastered something that took me years to perfect and quite frankly I’m a little peeved about it. Quite simply he put a foot in my mouth. It was his foot and he enjoyed it immensely, giggling and laughing the entire time (I usually insert my own and it receives a completely different reaction). At that very moment I realized that I was solidly and firmly entrenched as his dad. I had become the person I had promised myself I wouldn’t become; the parent who got giddy over the smallest milestones, and I dragged my wife into it. We both spent the better part of five minutes opening our mouths wide as our son joyfully directed his tiny four month old feet into our respective pie holes, all the while marveling over how smart and coordinated our young brood was. If someone had a video camera, we would have been the toast of YouTube for candid videos of IDIOTS! Yet, I feel no shame nor need to apologize for our amazement and wonder at this tiniest of milestones; a simple act that let us know our son was thinking, contemplating, planning even the method in which he would transform us into blathering imbeciles. I do believe it is in moments like these that tiny humans realize the collective power they can assert over the more mature members of the species. With a giggle, big smile, or coo we become incapacitated to experience any other feelings but awe and pride. We want to shout from the rooftops “My baby boy picked his nose…I mean checkout those motor skills!”
It’s true; Mother Nature inserted a parental instinct in all mammals to ensure protection and development of their offspring. Not present in fish, insects or reptiles, nurturing and parenting are mammalian concepts, and contribute to the success of more complex species. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the hairless apes affectionately known as man. Human beings challenge the concept of evolutionary apex when it involves our interaction with our offspring, particularly in the developmental stages between birth and preschool. Sometimes I wonder how our children evolve past potty training. Most of you are parents, and therefore are incapable of having an unbiased viewpoint on this, but how many of you have seen and heard how we speak to our infants. I believe chimpanzees have more complex language skills than human parents do when in front of a three month old. I used to laugh hysterically at morons making “baby talk” with their mini-people until I found myself making the following statement: “Who’s the cutie booty baby with the peepee weepy diapy? You are, yes you are! Now diddy dirty daddy’s gonna make your dirty diapy go buhbye!”
At least now I can be certain of one thing; my son will be one evolutionary rung higher than his dear old dad. If he can remember to keep putting his feet in other people’s mouths and not his own, he may even amount to something more special. Yesh you will, Gaby the Baby, yesh you will!

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