I’ve never had a taste for baby talk. In fact, I had a hard time speaking to our family dog (R.I.P., Duke) in anything less than complete sentences.
Maybe that’s weird, but I’m loathe to dumb anything down. Mostly because that kind of stuff makes me feel dumb. And we can’t have that!
In that vein, one of my (to this point unarticulated) stances as a first-time parent has been to be as straight-up with you as possible. You might not understand what I’m saying, but I’m going to tell you what’s going on. I don’t want to sugarcoat anything, or spit fire and brimstone, for that matter.
Why? I suppose it’s because I want to treat you as I’d want to be treated. I’d read at some point that most temper tantrums from infants and toddlers are due to confusion, so I’m going to do my best to explain things to you directly. You might not understand, but I can’t say I left anything off the table.
Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t do silly voices and goof around with you to try to make you laugh. What would be the fun in that? But I’m not going to tell you we’re going home soon when we’re actually not, or that the TV is broken when in reality I just can’t bear to watch the ‘Praise Babies’ DVD for the 30th time this week.
Child psychology says I’m probably going overboard with this. Most kids your age have a hard time understanding the difference between reality and fiction, so it’s not like I’d be embedding a love of deception in your soul if I told a few white lies to make my #DadLife slightly easier.
I’d definitely be lying, though, if I said I had that fact in mind when I tricked you a couple of times today. Let me explain …
Remember that journal entry about your uncanny ability to get me sick? It turns out your illness during that rough stretch for all of us was an ear infection, one that required two doses of antibiotics per day for 10 days.
The amoxicillin — like father, like son! — is bubblegum-flavored liquid, but you flat hate it. As in, you’re writhing on the floor, wailing and weeping while your Mom and I try to hold your head still and inject the pink goo into your mouth.
Mom left on a work trip, so I wasn’t looking forward to trying to get you to take this stuff with no assistance. In the morning, I tried for a couple of minutes before giving up and getting you out the door to daycare. Hey, maybe five days of the antibiotic is enough! You seemed to be feeling more like yourself, so …
No, no, no … I had to figure something out. Your Grandma and Grandpa Gajtka came to the rescue with the suggestion that I mix it with juice and see if you’ll take it that way. A little cloak-and-dagger action, which apparently worked on me back in the late ’80s.
Funny how the prospect of another torturous scene for both of us made me reconsider my stance on complete honesty.
My mind started dancing atop the options. Apple juice wouldn’t work; the bubblegum would overwhelm that thin solution. But you love these pre-made ‘smoothies’ we’ve been getting at Aldi, and they’re plenty thick enough to mask the flavor and consistency of this nasty drug delivery system.
To my immense relief, it worked! You chugged the “duice,” as you call it, and asked for seconds. Skullduggery never felt so good.
Maybe if you were four or five, I would feel worse about this. As it is now, I’m looking at it like I spared both of us the anguish of doing something we didn’t want to do. Overall, we had a pleasant, drama-free night together and that can’t be discounted.
Was I deceitful? By the letter of the law, yeah. It’s not something I want to make a habit of, but considering your age and the circumstances, I’m OK with riding out the dosage with a little help from my sugary-sweet friend.
I’m still not doing any baby talk. That’s the hill I’ll die on, Tyke.
Calories burned (active): 1,124
Minutes exercised: 64
Hours stood: 14
Steps taken: 8,342
Activity: Forty-five minutes of pick-up hockey
(Semicolon Count: 1)