Monday, July 8, 2013

The Baby Show: Can't do this by myself

Players: Brad, Gus, Hope, Ruby
Location: Kitchen, The beginning of lunchtime

Brad deposits Hope in her highchair and straps her down.
Brad: “Ruby, would you like to play Starfall while I get lunch going?”
Ruby pulls herself into her chair at the kitchen table: “I want macaroni for lunch.”
Brad: “You always want macaroni. I think we should have something else.”
Ruby: “But I want macaroni because after lunch we will take naps and when we wake up we will have lots of energy and then we will go to the park and maybe the pool.”
Brad thinks ~ that was almost a coherent argument, I think. It was definitely an accurate order of events. Should I reward that?
Brad: “Okay, we can have macaroni.”
Ruby: “But while I wait for dinner, I can play Starfall.”
Brad: “Its lunch, but yes.”
Hope starts to fuss: {HEY, YO. I’ve been sittin’ in this chair for, like, 1 minute. Where is the FOOD?}
Brad: “It will be just a minute, Hope.” Brad pulls the computer over and starts up Starfall. “Now Ruby, remember that you can only play Starfall as long as you aren’t sucking your thumb. If I see you sucking your thumb, you’ll be done playing Starfall for now. Do you understand?”
Ruby, obviously believing that the question is ‘do you comprehend English in any manner’ says: “Yes, Daddy.” She then looks at the screen. “I wanna do Numbers.”
Brad: “Okay.” Brings up the numbers section and lets her go for it.
Brad puts a pot of water on the stove to boil.
Hope: {HEY. I know you prolly forgot I was here and all, but I could really use some food before I full on pass OUT.}
Brad: “I think that’s a little overly dramatic.”
Hope: {Oh Yeah? I’m tiny, and have a super small stomach. Also, I just learned to crawl, so I need my sustenance to keep up my mad crawling SKILLZ.}
Brad gets a carton of orange baby food and peels back the wrapper.
Gus has been contentedly doing something toddlerish in the living room: {Hark, is that a container of foodstuffs being opened?} He run-bumbles into the kitchen: “THAT!?  BITE!” {Father, I heard the emergence of some delicious morsel. Please deposit said morsel into my eating orifice, that I might sample it.}
Brad: “There is no way you actually heard me open this.”
Gus: {Au Contraire. I’ve found that, when it comes to matters of the palate, I seem to have keen, superhuman senses.}
Brad: “Well, that’s great, but this isn’t for you. Go play.”
Gus sees Ruby playing Starfall. {Ah, the interactive cartoon program. Delightful.} He pulls a chair out from the table and pulls his baby-body up onto it so he can take a closer look.
Brad begins feeding Hope, who squeaks and squeals anytime the supply of food is delayed for more than 3 seconds.
Ruby: “DADDEEE, Gussie is messing up my Starfall.”
Gus, who has belly-flopped onto the table-top in order to reach the keyboard, is pressing the PG DN key repeatedly: {I find the clicks of this movie machine invigorating.}
Brad: “Gus, get down.”
Gus gives Brad a measuring look and then slides back into the chair.
While distracted by The Baby Show, Brad has inadvertently moved the container of baby food within Hope’s reach.
Hope, grabbing the half-full cup and pulling on it violently: {WHAT UP, FOO! I got my own plan now. Gimme them yummies.}
Orange baby food is now all over her high-chair, her hands, and her onesie. Brad salvages as much as he can and cleans her up.
Ruby wails. Gus has bellied back onto the table and shut the lid of the computer.
Gus: {HA HA, The Day is Mine!}
Ruby, cry-wailing: “Dahdee, Gubbie dup die barball und cow tricam tray cucumbers bile irate Formica pony.”
Brad: “Ruby, its fine. Here.” Opens the lid back up and Starfall immediately pops back up.  Brad puts the baby food well away from Hope, picks up Gus and deposits him in the living room, closing the baby-gate.
Gus begins crying: “DADDEE.” {Why would you leave me in here alone? I just want to love you.}
Brad: “Really? Cuz it seems like you just want to torment your sister.”
Gus, still crying: “Daddie.” {I’m a young male. That’s how we show love.}
 Brad comes back to the table, but then notices the water is boiling, so puts in the macaroni.
Hope kicks her highchair with her ridiculous baby strength: {Get back over here or I will straight up break this high chair and come smack you.}
Brad finally finishes feeding Hope, then makes her a bottle and places it in front of her. “Knock yourself out.”
Hope grabs the bottle and puts it in her mouth. Brad turns. Ruby is a little zombie, staring at Starfall. Her thumb is in her mouth.
Brad puts a hand gentle on her head and readies himself: “Honey, you’re sucking your thumb. That means we are done with Starfall for now.” He hits Ctrl+f4 on the keyboard, and Starfall closes.
Brad: “Sweetheart, calm down. I told you this would happen if you sucked your thumb.”
Ruby’s hair has begun to fan out and stick up, her face is splotchy red with tears. Dogs down the street begin barking: “AaAAaAAAaaaAAAaAAaAaAaAAaAAaaAAaaaAAAAaAAAaaaaAAA.”
Brad takes a few deep breaths and reminds himself that he is dealing with a toddler: “Ruby, if you don’t calm down, we won’t play Starfall anymore, because you can’t seem to handle it. Now breathe”
Ruby, gulps some air. “Eye juice billy wanatoe flay Barfly bile weigh core iMac Arrow knee.”
Brad processes that for a second: “Well, I appreciate that, but we agreed on the thumb sucking thing. Besides, you will get to play Starfall again. And the macaroni is almost done.”
Ruby: “Eye want uh bupple bow.”
Brad keeps from rolling his eyes at his daughter: “Okay.”
Hope: {Yo, dropped the bottle.}
Brad picks it up and puts it back on her tray.
Brad finishes up the macaroni. Brad puts Gus in his chair, then goes over to dish the macaroni into bowls.
Gus, seeing the macaroni, begins to cry: {I see that you have life-giving morsels, yet it is beyond reach! Are you some sort of monster?}
Brad: “You’re fine, buddy. It will just be a minute. It’s too hot still.”
Gus wails: {I am wasting away!}
Brad begins to sing the ‘Have Patience’ song. Gus calms a little.
Hope: {BOTTLE!}
Brad picks it up and puts it back on her tray.
He pours milk for Ruby and gives Gus his Sippy. Gus just cries louder, stubbornly refusing to drink it. Brad then puts out the macaroni. Gus slaps the bowl, sending it to the floor. While reaching for the macaroni, Ruby knocks over her cup of milk.
Brad breathes for a few minutes, loudly, through his nose.
Then he cleans everything up,gets more milk for Ruby, more macaroni for Gus, and sits down at the table  wondering if it is too late to get his old job back. Why did I think I could do this?
After a few bites, Ruby stops: “Daddy, we didn’t pray.’
Brad sighs: “You’re right. Go ahead and pray for us.”
Gus: “Pay!” and clasps his little hands together.
Ruby: “Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. Thank you for Daddy and Mommy and Gussie and baby Hope and macaroni and milk. Amen.”
Gus: “AWMN.”
Brad smiles a little: “Thank you, Honey. That was great.”
Ruby, very serious face: “Daddy, did you know that Jesus died?”
Brad blinks: “Yeah honey, I did.”
Ruby gets big eyes: “But he came back to life.”
Brad looks at her a moment.
Ruby takes a bite of macaroni and smiles at Brad.
Brad smiles back.
There is a small thunk under the table.
Hope: {Hey, sorry to break up this precious moment, but BOTTLE YO.}


  1. Ha:“AWMN” really captures the little man's "end of prayer and I affirm it!"

  2. Just when you wonder if anything EVER goes right....yeah...bless their hearts as they bless us.