Baby Memory Book: Remember The 'Celestial' Days
I think there are certain "watershed" moments in the life of each family. Ours happened in June of 1995 when we finally got our last child potty trained. I sat down and punched a few numbers: we had gone through over twenty five thousand diapers!
While potty training our kids, my wife would sit next to the child for hours and read them story books until she got them to tinkle. To celebrate, she would clap, cheer, and give them chocolate--the exact same things that Oprah needs to sustain her fragile ego and mercurial waistline.
The whole process took place on a cute little plastic potty-chair that had endured the onslaught of our six well-fed little porkers. So, I called the family to gather in the back yard. We formed a sacred circle around the potty chair. In solemn assembly, I uttered a few reverent words about how that little chair had served us so well. I then passed out the golf clubs and we proceeded to beat the potty chair into about six thousand pieces.
Babies are so stinking cute--especially when they are breast fed. Usually breast fed babies are fat, healthy, happy and they just smell good. I'm always surprised when I hear a new mother announce that she isn't going to breast feed. I think, "Jeez lady, you've been packing those things around for twenty seven years. They have a purpose besides ornamentation you know!" Although, as ornaments, I do feel they are unsurpassed.
Most people go to church, I suppose, to hear the Word: "Blah, blah, blah...and here are five thousand more reasons why you're going to Hell! Blah, blah, blah!" When I go to church, I like to hold someone's baby. I've always felt that if you want to see the glory of the sun, you don't look at the sun. You look at what the sun illuminates: a beautiful red sky at sunset, or a verdant mountain. Likewise, if you want to see God, look at that which he illuminates. When I look at a baby, I feel like I'm looking at something celestial. Babies laugh when I wiggle my ears, and they don't see my weaknesses. They're not compiling a list of five hundred reasons to send me to Hell on judgment day.
The saddest thing about raising babies is that often times, the parents are so tired that they forget how awesome their babies are. Last week I was sitting in church and there was a handsome young couple sitting four seats apart with three kids trapped between them. The babies were as cute as Reese Witherspoon triplets, but the poor parents were exhausted. The mother was staring off into space obviously too tired to even dream of Cancun; and the poor dad looked like he was trying to emerge from a six year coma.
Isn't it amazing how kids mold their parents? When I was a kid there was this stuff called Dippity-Doo. It was basically petroleum jelly mixed with super glue. My mom would line me and my three brothers up in a row and slather Dippity-Doo all over our heads. After she combed our hair, it would set up as solid as Hoover Dam. Do you remember Barbie Doll and her gay brother Ken? Well, mom would march us to church looking like the four pre-pubescent, developmental stages of Ken.
When we got to church, she would line us up on the pew and tell us that she would kill us if we talked during church--which we always did. So every week after church, it was the same thing: mom would give me a knife and tell me to go cut a big switch off of the willow tree so she could tan our heathen little backsides. We brothers would run up stairs and put on two pairs of pants, but that strategy only led to mom thumping us over the head with her wooden house slippers that weighed about as much as the Spanish Armada. If it wasn't for the Dippity-Doo hard hat, I'm sure we'd all have brain damage.
The irony of this 1,000,000% true story is that my kids think I'm making it up! When I take the kids to see grandma, they gather round her feet and hang on every syllable that emanates from her angelic lips like a bunch of pilgrims at the Sermon on the Mount! I try to tell them that their sweet little grandma is not the woman who raised me: "The woman who raised me, whipped me and called me a damn little shit!"
"Ah Dad," they reply, "You're just making that up. Grandma is a lot nicer than you are." Like I said, I love babies, but I haven't said a word about teenagers. I sure am glad we kept a baby memory book for each of our kids, so we can remember their 'celestial' days.
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