May 27, 2006

The boy was in a bad mood.

We weren’t sure why.

Maybe it was his hair.


I tried to entertain him with quotes from The Shining.


“Danny’s not here, Mrs. Torrance. Danny can’t wake up. Danny’s gone away, Mrs. Torrance.”

He was still in a bad mood.

We tried distracting him with toys.


But he was still grumpy.

What’s wrong, Riley?

Are you hungry?


Have you fallen to the bottom of an abandoned oil well?


Okay, fine. Be that way.


Come to candy mountain, Riley. Let’s go to candy mountain, Riley.

Yeah, Riley. We’re going on an adventure, Riley.

Riiiiilleeeeeyyy…..we’re on a bridge, Riley.


Ahh. That’s better.

I was looking through the collection of short, crappy video files I’ve taken since Riley’s birth and I found one named “Hungry”. It’s from when Riley was only a few weeks old, and it shows several seconds of him lying on the changing table looking vaguely alert (if a little, well, larvalike) and smacking his lips. I’m glad I took the moment back then to point the camera at him, because I had completely forgotten that expression he used to get, the one that preceded any crying, that clearly communicated the message MILK GO IN MOUTH-HOLE NOW.

Jeez, he was tiny. I can’t believe he was really that tiny. Was he seriously that tiny? Man, was he ever tiny.

Things are certainly different these days. For instance, his limbs no longer wave uselessly around like floating, wave-tossed seaweed; rather, they have the strength of a thousand stout men, at least judging by the fistfuls of hair he enjoys pulling merrily from my scalp on a daily basis. Plus he can now produce a poop that’s bigger than his entire body used to be.

And when he’s hungry, you are by-god going to know it. The adorable “Please sir, may I have another” lip smacking has long been replaced by a dramatic, tragedy-mask howl conveying his deepest regrets for having been born into such a cruel world. It seems to hit him all at once – holy shit, I haven’t eaten in like an HOUR! – and the boy undergoes a complete metamorphosis from giggly, happy baby to Lord Suckulor, He-Who-Devours-Souls (Also, Applesauce).

It was during one of these bleak moods that I was rushing around in the kitchen getting a jar of Gerber’s ready and flailing for a spoon and I said to him “Did you want some bananas?” and I watched him whip his head around just exactly like Dog when I ask her if she wants a biscuit, well, does she, does she want a biscuit, she DOES, etc. He looked me right in the eye and before he started wailing like his diapers were full of snapping turtles I saw recognition.

He knows the word “bananas”, which isn’t too surprising considering I refer to almost all of his food as bananas, then I sometimes feed him carrots with brown rice, because it’s never too early to learn about life’s crushing disappointments, you know? He absolutely knows to associate bananas with mealtimes, just like he knows the word “milk”. He also knows the word “Riley”, of course, and I think he knows “doggie”.

Say, I wonder what else he knows?

Remember when I mentioned the penny jar that JB and I talked about, where we’d fine ourselves for saying curse words in front of Riley? Well, we pretty much totally forgot all about that and went right back to saying assmunch and dicktowel and fuckton and so on, but now it seems like we should really truly consider getting a handle on the Very Bad Language. Because I don’t want my son’s first word to be “cocksucker”, no matter how endearingly hilarious his pronunciation is.

Or, um, “get the fuck off me, dog“.

So now we have an actual cuss-fine receptacle; an oversized mug into which we must toss a coin whenever we say a bad word in front of the boy.

“Does ‘shit’ count,” I asked this morning while I was dealing with a particularly odious diaper. “Because damn, this shit stinks.” “Ha!” said JB. “You already fucked up, and it’s only 7 AM!”

We’re…gonna need a bigger mug.

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