Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Squealia

            It struck me today that I’ve been a father now for six months, and I had one of those “Holy Crap!” moments, as in, “Holy Crap! I’m in this for the rest of my life!” But then, I relaxed and thought, “Okay, she’ll only poop her pants a couple more years at most.”
            I don’t know what people fuss about who have older kids, but then again, I don’t have one yet. It just seems like these young ones are a serious wear on the system. Three feedings a night, or more, and random big poops. It’s like the word “poop” wasn’t in our household dictionary until these last six months. Now, every day we talk about “poop.” What color was her poop today? Did she have a big poop? My God, you should have seen her poop this morning!
            Well, I’m most certainly glad I did not see that poop, but I most certainly am quite curious as to what the big deal is, so of course, I have to ask my lovely wife, who I’d never imagined that day I married her that we’d have these sorts of conversations, and she goes into more detail than necessary about the consistency, color, smell, and overall experience.
            Needless to say, I feel I’ve digressed.
            When I was in my twenties I figured that by now I’d be doing some great things, making a difference in the world, helping people, taking on the Establishment or something even bigger. Here I am in a nine-to-five job talking with my wife about poop.
            But I do have to say she sure is a charmer. A smiler. I’ve seen lots of kids now (interesting how I never noticed there were so many around until recently), and mine is definitely the cutest. Well, okay, I’m biased, but she sure does smile a lot, and it just melts a father’s heart, it does. Makes me go all high-pitched and say things like, “Love Bug” and “Cutie Pie” and “Little Buttercup”. Gosh, there’s a good list. All the nicknames to date I’ve given her.
            • Love Bug
            • Cutie Patootie
            • Little Buttercup
            • Sweetie Pie
            • Pumpkin
            • Little Potato
            • Sweet Pea
            • Little Squirt
            • Baby Cakes
            • Squealia

            She got that last one because she got on this squeal kick the last few weeks. Her real name’s Celia, and one day we were at a restaurant with our friend Larry and she had this high-pitched nerve-wracking squeal that no parent can really ignore, and apparently for no real reason, so Larry said she should be called “Squealia”. It’s already starting to peter off, thank God, but I do wonder about these different stages she goes through. This one was particularly tough on the ears. No apparent reason, she’d just do this awful wail. Totally happy and everything, and a man thinks, “Good God Almighty, Make it stop!”
            It’s lasted about three weeks so far, and I’ve tried to tell her I don’t like it. You wouldn’t believe how much I’ve used earplugs over these last six months. Especially when I put her to sleep. Oh, the wails!
            Isn’t it funny how we fall in love with our kids the most when they’re asleep. We say things like, “Aw, what an angel,” but really, they’re not able to defend themselves to put the record straight. I dare you to say that when they’re squealing and pooping and grabbing the poop before it’s been properly cleaned and wiping it all over their clothes. “Aw, what an angel.” Nope, I’ll bet you can’t do it. But when they’re asleep it’s like we forget all of that and just see this calm, unwrinkled little soul and think they’re at peace. Beautiful. Calm. Pleasant. Mature.
            As if.

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