“I am not walking, I am falling and catching myself.”

January 9, 2013

Notable Stats

Cooing Ball of Destruction (CBD) – The velocity a one-year-old reaches while lumbering in a random direction as she pulls everything down in the process.  Measured in broken objects per square foot.

Gentle Expectation Factor (GEF) – The expectation of softness by an unknowing person that picks up a one year old, only to have a shard of hair ripped from their head.

Toddling babies are thugs. Plain and simple. The commercials lie and so do parents who want to convey that their baby is warm and fuzzy. Now that our one year old has embraced walking, my gut reaction is to tell everyone to get out of the way if they don’t want to get run over. She walks like a half-drunk reptile that, somehow, in her drunkenness, has found a way to stand on her hind legs. Her neck is ducked down like a tortoise in her shell, mostly to compensate for the fact that her head is probably 80% of her body weight and needs to be way ahead of her body, or else she will fall and possibly take down a dog or two in the process.

Along her Godzilla path are those sticky bun hands that grab everything in her wake. Phones, mail, outlets, toothbrushes, diapers, her sister’s hair.  Whatever. Part of the grabbing is curiosity, the other is the reflex of a person who just jumped on the black diamond ski slope only to realize that they hadn’t gone skiing in 17 years.

Then you pick up this little bundle of joy and she has the strength of two wildebeests. I am fully confident that she could take my ear off of my head if left to her own devices. I watch her closely when her naïve older brother lets her grab at his face because he does not realize that at any moment, she could elect to rip his left eyebrow from his face. It is like watching a guppy play with a Hammerhead shark who thinks it is a guppy.

Our daughter is generally super happy. Smiling, flirting, laughing, good-spirited, but like anyone, she has that other side and one recent night was the case in point. After her brother took an electronic toy from her clutches, she chased him down demanding it back. When he did not cave in, she just went babylistic. Part acting school, part rage, part dramatization, she flipped on the magnum tantrum. Rolling around in pain, hitting walls, chair legs, and other living beings. She screamed incessantly, she kicked, she threw her body back as if someone had stabbed her with an No. 2 pencil. Had someone walked in on her display, they would have called 9-1-1 for one of two reasons: 1) She needs to go to the ER to stave off her impending doom or to get sedated before she hurts herself and others, or 2) She needs to be arrested.

Fortunately, we saw it all transpire after the removal of an electronic device from her hands. That was it. But for her, we have violated her soul and she will bring the roof off of the building to make sure you never take it again.

Keeping in mind the strength that is required to put on such a show is monumental.  She clearly was tired at the time, but she could reach down into her gut and pull off an Emmy-award winning performance by smashing everything within range of her head.  Her “junior parents,” as my wife calls them, brother and sister ages 4 and 3, were thoroughly amused, even though her brother fruitlessly tried to give her back the device during the single five second reprieve we all had from the alien that had taken over her body.

Yes, she is one. Just one year old. Hold up a mere one finger. Twelve months old, and in that time, she has learned to respond to personal insult by trying to wage international and galactic war.

So don’t be fooled. Yes, babies are cute, they smile with two teeth, they speak in an adorable language of babbling poetry, they are miniature, they have crazy hair, but make no mistake about it, if they could execute the plan, they would detonate the planet with a smile not realizing there can be no baby-friendly apps to download on a scorched Earth.

- Doug Glanville

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