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A Baby’s New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! While many people couldn’t wait to say goodbye to 2016, I wanted to hold on to what was arguably the best year of my life. How could it not? On June 21st, my wife and I gave birth to healthy, beautiful, twin girls! Moreover, I had the luxury of giving up my day job, along with the pleasure of staying home with Penelope and Clementine. Admittedly, my wife and I are scraping by, and we’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices, but the experience has been priceless. Not to mention, I now have a built-in excuse to stay in on New Year’s Eve, and avoid the undue pressure of manufactured fun. This past Saturday, when the clock struck midnight, my wife and I tiptoed into the girls’ nursery, and smooched our little darlings. Clementine took advantage of the moment to strike up a conversation about the future.

“Daddy, I thought of a really good New Year’s resolution.”

“What’s that, sweetie?”

“I’m gonna start walking!”

“That’s stupid.”

“Huh? You don’t want me walk?”

“Hmmm — now that you mention it, I’m probably not even ready for you to crawl— but that’s not why it’s stupid.”

“Well, please enlighten me, oh wise one.”

“Sweetie, resolutions are about changing an undesired behavior like giving up chocolate or getting off the couch.”

“But I don’t have any bad habits, daddy.”

“Oh, sweetie. Everyone has bad habits — even babies.”

“Really? Name one!”

“The first thing that comes to mind is your thumb sucking.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Honestly, it’s up for debate. Some doctors worry it leads to dental issues. Others say that it’s a great way for infants to self-soothe.”

“And what do you believe, daddy?”

“Well, I think it’s fine for the first year or so, and then it should be discouraged.”

“Did you ever suck your thumb, daddy?”

“Yes, but I didn’t have a choice. My mom didn’t use pacifiers, which would’ve been fine if I hadn’t continued sucking my thumb through kindergarten.”

“Is that why your teeth aren’t perfect, daddy?”

“Sweetie, I’m impressed — you’ve already mastered the backhanded compliment.” 

“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, daddy.”

“Don’t worry about me, sweetie. Years of standup comedy have made me immune to criticism.”

“And mommy seems to like your face. That’s really all that matters, daddy.”

“Well, as far as your thumb sucking, I’m not really worried. I’m sure you’ll wean off when you acquire more mature soothing techniques.”

“Mature, daddy? Such as?

“You know, things like exercise and meditation.”

“Hahahaha.”

“What’s so funny?” 

“Daddy, I’ve been observing adults my whole life — you’re all a bunch of train-wrecks.”

“How so?”

“Well, you spend a lot of time preaching about exercise and meditation, but you’re constantly glued to the TV or blankly staring at your phones. It’s like you can’t handle being alone with your thoughts.”

“What’s your point?”

“TV, drugs, fast food — it’s all thumb sucking to me, daddy.” 

“Hot damn! Maybe you’re on to something, sweetie.”

“I’d happily trade thumb sucking for some TV time, daddy.”

“No can do, sweetie. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises against any TV consumption by children under two.”

“Whatever, daddy. Anyway, what’s your New Year’s resolution?”

“I don’t do resolutions, sweetie.”

“Oh, so you’re perfect?”

“No, sweetie, far from it. I just think it’s pointless. People change when they’re ready — regardless of the Earth’s orbit.”

“I dunno, daddy. You’ve been picking your scalp for years — I think it’s time to give up that pacifier.”

“I agree, sweetie. It’s real a problem. I’ve spent my whole life struggling to overcome a crippling anxiety that has taken on so many forms that I refer to it as anxiety-whac-a-mole.”

“Clever phrase, daddy. You should trademark that shit.”

“Remind me, later. Either way, I’ve been able to overcome sleepwalking, claustrophobia, OCD, and panic attacks, but scalp picking has become a seemingly intractable issue.”

“I’m no psychologist, daddy, but maybe it’d be better if you went back to thumb-sucking. It’s gotta be less destructive than scalp-picking!”

“Maybe from your perspective, sweetie. But I’m an adult — no one would take me seriously if I walked around sucking my thumb.”

“How about we make a pact? I’ll try to stop sucking if you get help with your picking. You’re not alone, daddy!  And don’t forget — you’re married to a psychologist!”

“Ha! Your mom’s certainly willing to work with me, but I worry about relying on her too much for therapy. I don’t want our relationship to devolve into that of doctor and patient.”

“Well, don’t sweat our relationship, daddy. You can always lean on me.”

“Always?”

“As long as the Earth revolves around the Sun.”

“Actually, sweetie, the Earth doesn’t revolve around the Sun. Technically, the Earth, Sun and all the planets are orbiting around the center mass of the solar system, which is currently outside of the Sun’s surface.

“Ugh! Forget everything I just said — you’re on your own, poindexter!”

2 Comments

  1. Good post! I read your blog often and you always post excellent content. I posted this article on Facebook and my followers like it. Thanks for writing this!

  2. Good stuff, Dean! I heard about this website recently and had to check it out. I am happy for you. Don’t be a stranger!

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