Baby Talk

I’ve never been able to determine whether I’m a creative person or not. Sometimes I think I am, but for me, creativity is something that happens every few years with great effort and in small doses. It’s more like squeezing a lemon than knocking the cap off a fire hydrant.

Some of the greatest works of children’s literature have been written by bored parents who spun tales to amuse their children and challenge themselves. Watership Down. The Pooh books. The Harry Potter series. And so on.

I won’t be one of those parents. I would love to be endlessly creative and inventive with Edith, but the second I sit down to play with her, my mind goes completely blank. I can’t think of any games or stories. If I try to think of a song to sing to her, all I can remember is a single commercial jingle from the ’80s, like I have never in my life heard music before. I can’t even think up small talk to have with her. I talk to her like we’re standing in the corner at a party neither of us wants to be at. I am truly the dullest dullard to ever wave a toy around.

My dialogue with her all day long is just:

“Edith! Who’s Edith? Are you Edith? Who’s my baby? Are you my baby? You’re my baby!”

“Baby baby baby baby.”

“Look! What’s that? Is that a panda? What’s that panda doing?”

“What are you doing, Edith? Are you looking at the panda? What’s going on? Tell me about it! Oh, yes, tell me all about it! What? What are you saying?”

“Oh boy! A panda! What do you think? What do you think, Edith? What’s going on?”

“Who’s my little bean? Who’s my booger? Are you my pooh bear? Are you my peanut?”

“Look at this panda. Wow.”

“Wooowoo buh. Buh! BUH! A panda.”

“Ok, you keep doing…that. Ok. And Mommy’s just going to look at the news here for a little second. Let’s see what Biden’s doing, what do you think? Probably not one fucking thing…”

[several minutes pass]

“What, what, don’t cry!! Oh, don’t cry! Mommy’s here, mommy’s paying attention. Who’s a bun? What’s a panda? When is baby! You run, you slide, you hit the bump, and take a diiiiiiiiive. A boo boo boo!”

I worry all the time for her development.

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