I don’t like babies. They just don’t do it for me, you know? But I’ve spent some time with a certain young Miss Holly, and in her case, I think I can make an exception.
Granted, the little dickens has produced some really foul diapers during our time together — although I am glad to say that she has not re-enacted a little trick that her big brother described to me in horrifying detail last week.
On the whole, I have to say she’s a sweetie pie. You would think with a tiny little baby, it would be hard to figure out what’s going on with her. It’s not like she can pipe up and say “Hey, Aunt Marie! You need to burp me, stat, because I’ve got the mother of all tummyaches!”
But she has this way of fussing after her bottle — she kind of screws up her face like somebody just told her about income taxes. And if you put her on your shoulder and give her some little pat-rub-dealies, bingo! She gives the daintiest little belch, and then she’s happy as a clam. Until the bottle goes through her. Then Miss Holly and her Aunt Marie spend some quality time with the Diaper Genie.
(Those things really are miraculous — you can’t smell a THING! — but if you’re going to call it the Diaper Genie, I think it should change the diaper for you. Also, a turban should be involved. What can I say? I’m a traditionalist.)
Holly has other ways of communicating, as well. OK, most of them take the form of crying, but I swear she has specific types of crying for specific situations. Her “I’m hungry” cry is much faster and higher-pitched than her “I’m tired” cry, while her “I’ve lost my binky” cry isn’t so much crying as a prolonged, non-verbal kvetch.
Plus, once she tells you what’s going on with her, and you deal with it? Instant happy baby!
Just imagine if adults could pull that off. I mean, we could use words and not actually cry to express our feelings, but just imagine: Instead of grumping around, giving certain people the silent treatment or flying off the handle for no reason, imagine if someone actually told you what was going on with them? And then, oh, I don’t know, maybe talking things over with your wife, and let her help you process, say, some frustration you might be experiencing with your career, so you can get past this and get on with your life, instead of walking around like a miserable lump all the time.
You know what’s so great about babies? If they crap on you, it’s never on purpose.