September 18, 2005

Baby Octopus Darling

All I had to do was go to the mall and reunite with some old friends who wanted to see my five-month old son. Never in my wildest dreams, or nightmares, did I imagine that such an ordinary feat would turn out to be a ridiculously gargantuan task.

It began innocently enough. My baby boy was all dressed and ready to go in his adorable printed OshKosh B’Gosh jumper and was in his crib making cute cooing sounds. What an angel, I remember thinking, as I searched my closet for something to pair with my favorite jeans. I found an attractive red shirt and triumphantly put it on, feeling happy about how I looked.

Upon hearing his noises become slightly agitated, I promptly picked up my baby in an attempt to soothe him. Without warning, he suddenly regurgitated all over me. Patches of icky vomit trickled everywhere, from my collar down to the knees of my pants. My cherub had turned Exorcist’s Child on me! I tentatively laid him on the bed to survey the damage. Miraculously, my babe was clean as a whistle. Evidently, his entire puke landed on me. I wiped my jeans as best as I could but had no choice but to scour for a replacement top.

After some time, I found a pretty pink polo I liked. After slipping into it, I saw my tiny tot getting fidgety. I scooped him up in my arms, confident that he could not possibly have anything left to throw up. True enough, he didn’t.

However, he had something else in mind. In one fell swoop, he stretched a pudgy arm towards one of the buttons on my shirt, yanked it out and buried it in his clenched fist. He did it so quickly it was almost a blur. I did not
have enough time to think about my damaged outfit; I was too mortified by the disastrous probability of him shoving the button in his mouth and choking on it. Before I knew it, I was fully engaged in an arm wrestling skirmish with Steve Austin’s Spawn. It was not an easy battle. When I at last recovered my button, I was spent. My rugrat had put up a surprisingly good fight. It must be all that breast milk.

I caged the imp back in his crib and called out to his nanny to get a move on because we were already late. I decided to settle for a simple white blouse that could be funked up with eye-catching accessories. I hooked on my fiery red chandelier earrings, which fell perfectly above my shoulders, and slipped on a matching red bangle. I hurriedly applied some make-up, let down my carefully blow-dried hair and slipped into a pair of open-toed heels. I snatched up my baby, relieved to at last be leaving.

Just as we were stepping out of room, Schwarzenneger Junior swiftly grabbed one of my hanging earrings and held on as if his life depended on it. I instinctively yelled bloody murder. Thank heavens, Super Nanny jumped in to save the day. At the crucial point when I felt my earlobe would tear into smithereens, she was able to heroically pull my kid’s fingers away.

But Baby Octopus was not done. While nanny held his right arm, he stretched out his other arm and violently tugged at my hair. Hard. This time, I commiserated with the Indians who were scalped at wartime. I couldn’t help but let out expletives that, on any other occasion, should never be uttered in front of innocent children. When Super Nanny finally succeeded in prying his hand away, I saw so many strands of hair woven through my baby’s (was he really mine or Rosemary’s?) fingers that I had to run to the mirror to make sure a bald spot had not materialized in my head.

We were so behind schedule, I had second thoughts about going. I was at the end of my tether. I turned to the little rascal now ensconced in his yaya’s arms and glared pointedly at him. In return, he stared back at me with his huge unblinking puppy eyes and smiled a huge dimpled toothless smile. I felt my insides turn to mush. Darn. How now could I get mad at such an adorable creature? I had no recourse but to throw him back a chagrined smile, change into safe stud earrings, pull my hair back in a ponytail and go, with baby and nanny in tow.

When we arrived at our destination, we were almost two hours late. But wonder of wonders, nobody noticed. Everybody was too enthralled by my child. They kept exclaiming how darling he was and plain went crazy over anything he did. Giggle, yawn, grin, cry, drink, burp…anything. They said I was the luckiest mother to have a baby as wonderful and sweet as he is.

And you know what? I could not agree more.


Jennifer said...

Irene! How cute! How funny! I love love love Niccolo. Your child is the only person in the world who can still reduce me to making ridiculous girgling/cooing baby sounds despite the fact that I think all children should be spoken to like normal people ("depth perception" hahahaha). I show the photos I have of him on my phone to everyone who falls into the trap of talking about cute babies, "Oh but look at Irene's baby! You know what? He doesn't cry!" Well, apparently, his lack of enthusiasm for crying is balanced mainly by his appreciation for junior jujitsu (Allan?!?). Kisses to Niccolo!

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