Have you heard of this thing called Baby Savings Time? It’s when you change the clocks and all the babies wake their parents up one hour earlier. It’s very good if you have crops and goats and live on a farm, which I don’t, but that doesn’t matter. Baby Savings Time is good for me anyway, because I find it allows me to fit in another hour of rampaging, spilling things, running around the house with my arms over my head and throwing hard objects at glass surfaces and saying ‘uh oh’ which makes the act of violence charming, kind of like we are all in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Baby Savings Time also allows me extra time to complain on the changing table. Have I mentioned that recently? I wear these things called diapers, I have no idea why, and they have to be changed, which is a stupid idea if I ever heard it. It’s important to scream as loud as I can when they do it, because, well, I have no idea why I do it, but it must be done, of this I am certain.
I am also practicing to be a teenager by saying ‘no’ a lot. I am working with my rage. I am adding yeast to my rage, like bread rising. I am writing terrible metaphors because I can, because I am a teenager. Have you read any Salinger, or Judy Blume, or S.E. Hinton? Well, neither have I, but I know that Eugene O’Neill should have written a four act play about baby rage, it’s that rich a topic. If you don’t know who Eugene O’Neill was, never mind. He was a pretty depressing guy, but he knew rage. And he would have been a great baby rage writer if he hadn’t wasted his time on moons misbegotten, and icemen, and long days turning into night. Everybody knows that day turns into night, anyway.
I feel intense rage when they bring me seven ounces of formula instead of the eight I ordered. It’s just sloppy, pathetically not customer-centric at all. I feel rage when they take too long changing my shirt after I drool on it. I feel rage when my father calls me the Drooler of the Free World and thinks that I don’t know what he’s talking about. I know what he’s talking about. I don’t find that amusing, and neither would Eugene O’Neill. But critics argued that he didn’t have a sense of humor, nor owned a watch, because his plays were too long. They mocked him because of a loose association with time? I don’t know what time it is, and it’s never bothered me.
And I will not be mocked. I am developing a contentious relationship with my father. But this is the stuff of great literature, and this is what you do with fathers, develop contentious relationships with them. What else are fathers for? You tumble on the floor with them, you argue about diapers with them, you head-butt them, then you smile at them. Let me tell you this: When your father thinks he has figured you out, you have lost. You keep fathers off balance. Never forget that. You are screwed otherwise.
The other day, my father asked me, ‘Why do adults put up with babies? They spill fluids, they are loud, they excrete substances. Why do we deal with that?’
‘You want to know the reason?,’ I said.
‘Yes,’ he said.
‘It’s because we wear tiny cargo pants,’ I said.
‘Ah,’ he said, darkly.
‘But it’s true,’ I said.
He can be a sour puss.
Since I am closing in on a year and a half now, I like to ‘give back’ now and again and offer words of encouragement and wisdom for those who aren’t as smart as I am. Here are a few brilliant thoughts to tide you over until next time.
– When speaking, stick your finger in your nose. It improves the acoustics.
– When your father is doing Downward Dog, try head-butting him to get him to vibrate at a higher level.
– It’s never a bad time to drop something heavy on someone’s bare foot. Observe the effects. Repeat.
– Try eating yogurt with your hands. It’s slow, but sensual.
Well, that’s it for now. It’s bedtime and I have to get up an hour earlier than expected tomorrow.