Another buddy of mine is having a baby. Well, he’s not exactly having it, but he’s more than loosely connected to the chain of events that has precipitated the baby shower that my wife Kara and I are attending this weekend. Did you know that guys can get invited to baby showers now? The times, they have a-changed.
Kara and I are used to running a gauntlet of weddings every year, as we have reached ages that (frighteningly) round up to thirty. Though I haven’t kept a running tally, I think that the number of weddings may have been eclipsed by the number of baby showers – you can work out the math on that one.
The fact that my friends are having children now is rather disconcerting. These are the same people who, in college, spent weeks walking a lobster along the countertop for longer and longer periods of time because “we’re teaching it to breathe air.”
What baffles me most is that people keep having kids when they know full well what irrational creatures they are. A guy Kara works with was telling her this week about his two-year old son, who has recently added the word “afraid” to his vocabulary. After his parents dressed him one morning, the kid started shrieking that he was afraid of his pants.
The pants did not have tarantulas crawling around in them. These were not asbestos pants. My property taxes were not hiding in his pockets. The kid made such a fuss that his parents were compelled to remove his pants, at which point the child started crying because his legs were cold. But he wouldn’t hear of putting his pants back on. “I’m afwaid of my pants!” he wailed. After hearing this story, I ran to the computer and bought stock in a prophylactic company.
Hasn’t anybody ever tried talking reason to children? Seriously, somebody ought to do something about this. Sane people do not act this way. And still, my friends keep insisting on bringing new little crazy people into the world.
When Kara and I were having our driveway re-done last year, Anthony, the little boy next door, was fascinated by the small bulldozer that the workmen were using. His mom brought him outside, armed with her camera.
“He’s had his nose pressed against the window all morning. Anthony loves construction stuff,” she told us.
The little boy was absolutely beaming that he was going to get his picture taken with a bulldozer. He was all decked out in his Bob the Builder overalls. His mom asked permission of the workmen, who graciously smiled and told her to feel free to let the little guy have a ball with the construction equipment.
Anthony ran over to bulldozer, and his mom picked him up to put him in the driver’s seat.
“Awww, that’s so cute,” Kara said. And it was. Briefly.
The shrieking began as soon as Anthony’s mom tried to back up far enough to take a picture. So she came back to pick him out of the seat, and then he started shrieking, “Nooo! Picture!”
When she backed up again to take the picture, he shrieked even louder, holding out his arms for her to come back. But when she came back, he picked it up a few dozen decibels more, intent on having his picture taken in the driver’s seat, but too scared to sit there for his mom to get far enough away to take the picture. She only ever got far enough away to take a picture of his face, which was red and flowing with various fluids. I doubt that one ever made it to the mantle.
I watched in horrified amazement. A chess-playing Sasquatch is easier to find than a rational child. Still, I’m looking forward to this weekend. Bringing new insanity into the world is best celebrated with friends.
If you’re not too afraid of the keyboard, you can reach Mike Todd online at firstname.lastname@example.org.