When you get a brand new car, you expect it to function with little maintenance. How would you feel if, when getting it back home, you realize it required more maintenance than one 30 years old?
This is exactly the predicament I find myself in as new parent. As it turns out my nine-month-old requires:
Lotion for the body skin
Special lotion for the face skin
Special paste/cream for the bottom skin
Powder for the neck rolls
Oil for the head to get rid of spontaneous "cradle cap" and for sweet hairdos
Special food paste
She requires more upkeep than my first car (though moves about as fast). I'm not entirely sure, but I think we got a lemon.
Ever since bringing her home from the hospital/dealership she's leaked constantly, produced dangerous waste daily and continuously made funny noises (though the last one I sorta like). I think I'm entitled to a refund from the manufacturer. When I confronted my wife (manufacturer) on the matter she looked offended and wouldn't even hear about a potential return. Poor customer service if you ask me. I don't know why I keep shopping there.
Never mind. Yes I do.
To make matters worse, if my daughter cannot reach something she feels needs to be in her hands (everything), she will whine like it's some big thing. Being the tough Guy that everyone is accustomed to, I let her whine - because I know this will eventually lead her to crawl - for about three seconds. Hey, I know when I can't reach something I want (the remote control, new golf clubs, etc.) I whine too. It's frustrating! Consequently, I'll give her whatever she's reaching for. I'm pretty sure she'll be the only person alive that will grow up thinking The Force is real and she can command objects just by thinking about them hard enough.
I'm not a monster like my mother who will purposefully keep things out of her reach to "help." She thinks just because she spent 35 years as a physical therapist specializing in child development she's some kind of expert.
Speaking of crawling, it is so incredibly NOT as difficult as she's making it seem. It's certainly not something to fill your pants about. Perhaps that's the solution to getting new golf clubs.
She also lacks teeth. I mean, seriously, who doesn't have teeth by now? I have two theories:
Theory A: Extreme laziness. They say that you're "too lazy" if you don't even move to feed yourself. Then what's it called if you don't even develop the tools required to eat food?! That's taking laziness to a whole new level.
Theory B: Mutant shark teeth. I can understand taking an extraordinary amount of time growing teeth if they're shark teeth (crocodile and Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth are also acceptable). Fingers crossed this is the real reason because I always have problems opening DVD cases and resealable packaging.
My wife says our daughter can follow simple commands, yet whenever I instruct her to "grow teeth!" and then place my fingers into her mouth to see how my orders are being followed I'm consistently met with the feeling of week-old used bubble gum, proving my daughter's insolence and that my wife cannot be trusted. I plot my revenge with the cat but he ignores me too, further highlighting my complete lack of authority over anything, anywhere except in my head (where I am supreme ruler, until I think about doing something my wife might not approve of and then don't do that thing.).
While her name means "warrior" she has not even picked up a sword yet, much less learned how to yield it with any sort of skill. Get your act together, baby. Your mother and I didn't pick the name because we thought it sounded pretty and unique. We picked it in the event you need to defend the homestead/yourself from boys.
Until just recently I've never held anyone as they've defecated. I hope this isn't habit-forming or I fear I may test the strength of some of my friendships.
One glorious development is my daughter's newfound uneasiness around strangers. While holding her and introducing her to someone she's never seen she will grab onto my shirt and squeeze so tightly it makes my heart swell. I'm thinking about visiting a prison with her and just making my way down the cells.
Can you be addicted to fear-induced hugs? Because I never want to let go.
Kelly Van De Walle is a creative writer for The Integer Group as well as communication consultant for Briscoe 14 (www.briscoe14.com) strategic communications group. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Revolutionary War lanterns.