Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Pre-Baby Talk"

There are people who believe that, for example, playing soothing music or CD’s teaching Italian to “in-utero” inhabitants will soothe the “in-uteros”, and they will come out speaking Italian.  The assertion being, “They can pick things up in there.”

Rachel’s irresistible son Milo is now almost two-and-a-half years old.  The new baby arrives next month, although since Milo himself was born five or so weeks early, the bets on the “New One’s” impending Due Date are precariously uncertain. 

Put these two ideas together, and you have the following offering:  An “in-utero” considering his emergence into a world that contains, among other realities, a firmly established older brother. 

And away we go.

SEVEN MONTH-OLD “IN-UTERO”:  Oh, man!  That Milo kid’s making full sentences!  And look how cute he is – he’s like McCauley Culkin in Home Alone.  The first one, not when he was starting to look like a teenager.  Who knows what I’m going to look like?  My best guess right now is an amoeba with eyes.

I mean, how do I compete with this guy?  He’s got two-and-a-half years on me, and a track record for “adorable.”  And he keeps getting better!  He’s walking, he’s talking, he still wears a diaper, but when he drops a load, he now says, “I just pooped!”  How long before I do that?  I may never do that!  I’m forty years old – they’re still wrinkling their noses and looking in my diaper.

My sibling competition was a charmer from the get-go.  He made up his own words:  Boojaboo” for bulldozer.  He would flip around some letters, and helicopter became “hecilopter.”  That could be a sign of “Early Dyslexia”, but that’s “Best Case Scenario.”  Otherwise, it’s “eternally charming.”   We’re going to hear about it every Thanksgiving. 

“Remember when you said ‘agilator’?”

Man, that gets old fast!  And what if I say everything right? 

“What were my ‘funny words’, Daddy?”

“You didn’t have any.” 

This kid can’t lose – he either gets things entertainingly incorrect, or he gets them precociously “on the money.”  You know the boy’s counting now – in English and in Spanish.  And not “one-to-ten” either.  The kid knows “seventeen!” 

And “diez-y-siete!”
That takes big brains!

I don’t even know if I’ve got a brain.  I mean, what I’m saying to you here?  These aren’t even my thoughts.  Somebody out there is anthropobabycizing – putting adult thoughts into a “prenatal’s” head. 

And that “somebody” is not entirely enthusiastic about my prospects!

I am never catching up on anything that matters.  (You see what I mean?)  He’ll always be older.  And he’ll always be “The First.”  (And he will demand that capitalization.)  It is even possible they only had me so that he wouldn’t suffer from the deficiencies of being an “Only Child.”  They may not have even wanted me.  I may be simply the consequence of his psychological wellbeing!

And how will he feel when I show up?  I mean, he is saying all the right things:

“When’s ‘Baby Brother’ coming?”

“I want to see ‘Baby Brother’.”

“Make ‘Baby Brother’ come out right now, Mommy!”

Right.  Then the moment I pop out, he leans into to my ear, and he lays down the law:

You take orders from me.  For the rest of your life!

It’s not going to be easy.  I’ve got a big “Bulls Eye” on my chest, an unwelcome interloper, messing up “a good thing.”  And I am entirely vulnerable out there.  I mean, he comes after me that first year, I can’t even crawl to safety!  I’ll be lucky to make it to my first birthday!

I have no idea what I am working with here.  Will I be handsome?  Will I be smart?  Wait, that’s a Doris Day song.  But you know what I mean.  I may come out there and it’s, like, they may pretend it’s okay, but their body language is a transparent giveaway.

I am actually the Elephant Man!

Or at best, their second favorite.  (And I don’t think any more are coming, so there is no possibility of “moving up.”)

I see myself destined to grow up in the shadow of another.  I believe that’s the way criminals get started – “If I can’t be the best, I’ll be the worst!” – not to mention people in show business – “I did not get enough attention at home, so I covet the affection of strangers.”

You know what?  I better just calm myself down.  A lot of this is out of my control, so there’s no use in my getting worked up about it.  I am what I am.  And I will probably be just fine.

I don’t know where those last thoughts came from.

It could be that “Self Actualization” CD my Mom just put on.

Wait!  That means…

She loves me! 

She does!  She wants me to be normal!  Either that or, aware of what I'm up against, she knows I will need all the positive affirmations I can get. 

Who is this “downer” guy in my head? 

I wonder if they played any “Self Actualization” CD’s for him.

The preceding was written by a brother who came out second. 

“Who knew from 'Self Actualization'?”

“It’s okay, Mom.  It’s fine.”
Speaking of births, a specially birthday "shoutout" today to my magnificent daughter Anna who was born perfect and gets better every year.

Happy Birthday, Anna B.  You are still and will always remain"my sunshine" and make me happy, as you said when you were two "when skies are grape."

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