I cannot believe what just happened. Captain Adventure really scares me sometimes – not in the “I’m about to kill myself by leaping off this high point I’ve gotten to” way, but in the “I am so much smarter than you could ever be” way. Sometimes, I honestly envy people who have ordinary, boring, dull little bulbs for children.
So one of his favorite pastimes is pulling all the movies off the shelf. It is a time-honored infant tradition – the moment they have the mobility to do so, off to the shelf it is, and off the shelf they come.
This morning, the moment his adorable little pork-chop feet hit the playroom floor, he headed for the shelf. I don’t worry about it much, honestly – of all the stuff he can find to amuse himself, it’s a fairly benign activity. I can get them back on the shelf in no time, and frankly I’d rather let him do that for a while than move on to his second favorite activity, which is defeating all the child-proofing latches and so forth in the house.
So he surveyed the shelf with a critical eye. Then he reached out and pulled a single video off the shelf, Baby Shakespeare (a current great favorite). He made his way over to the TV and began hitting the TV with the video box. Nothing but noise happened. He pondered for a moment. Oh wait, that isn’t right. Ha, what was I thinking?
So he took the video tape out of the box (which in itself is an impressive feat of manual dexterity for someone who still accidentally shoves his food up his nose half the time during meals) and began trying to push it into the TV. Hmm, still not working. Let’s see. How does this work again?
He tried putting it on the side of the TV. He tried pushing it under the TV. He tried to get it on top of the TV, but he isn’t tall enough. Thwarted!!
Right. Well, that’s it. Time to call in the big guns…
So he crawled over to me, pushing the tape in front of himself all the way, then sat up, holding up the tape in one hand and putting the other on my knee imploringly.
“Mah-muh! Mah-MUH!!” he announced, wriggling the tape in the general direction of the TV.
Think about the cognitive display here. He saw the picture on the box and recognized it as ‘his’ show. He knew that it was supposed to go in the TV…somehow. He realized that taking it out of box would be helpful for viewing purposes. Then he tried various methods of getting it into the TV and, when it failed, he came to me for help. Came to me, rather than sitting in front of the TV screaming and crying to call for me, which is the traditional infant method of summoning assistance.
And then he acted all adorable and charming, which is a sure way to get what you want out of mom.
I am in so much trouble here.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to swallow a handful of gingko biloba pills and down a couple cans of tuna. I need all the help I can get…
P. J. O'Rourke
1 day ago