Saturday, May 8, 2010

NJ's Ever-Evolving Social Skills: A Case Study

How She Gets What She Wants
Something I learned this week: If you go into your favorite sports replica clothing store wearing a cute baby who's happy and joyfully smiling at everyone she comes into contact with, the charmed storekeepers are likely to give her a free Seattle Angels t-shirt that she'll be big enough to wear in about three years.

How She Ignores What She Doesn't Want
NJ quite obviously and wantonly humored her father yesterday, something I'm sure I'll see again and again for the rest of my days. We were sitting on the couch playing with one of her ring toss games, and I started talking about something I'd just seen on the Internet. I'm doing my best to ix-nay the baby talk, lest she grow up thinking "boo-pa-doo-ba-doo" is an actual greeting to be used in all of society. So after I talked about what I was talking about I poked her in the tummy lightly and said "Know what I mean, kid?" She'd been watching the dog, who was by the end of the sofa, and when I poked her she turned toward me and widened her eyes a bit -- as if she'd been busted in class for not paying attention. Then she nodded her head, uttered a sound that was about ninety percent of "Uh-huh" and flashed the fakest, most last-minute, half-hearted, half-smile I've ever seen. I was actually a little taken aback at how cavalierly she'd treated me as she went back to watching the dog. Then, to add insult to injury, she darted her eyes back toward me -- to see if I was still looking at her -- and, upon seeing that I was, she quickly turned away again and began playing with toys and uttering noises that sounded suspiciously like the "duh-ta-da-ta-da" humming people do in movies when they're being conspicuously inconspicuous. It was a little soul-crushing, but a few minutes later she'd forgotten that I'd bored her silly with info on that night's starting pitchers. Hooray for short baby attention spans. I'm dreading the day she learns how to roll her eyes dismissively, though.

Otherwise, it's been a pretty uneventful week here at Dad Solo HQ. We're gearing up for The Wife's first Mother's Day as an honoree, something I need to think about this afternoon. I told The Wife my original plans a couple of evenings ago, and her response was about as enthusiastic as NJ's reaction to Felix Hernandez's ERA.

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