Babyologists have long discussed the horrifying things that come out of a baby’s butt during the first years of life, but rarely have they tackled something potentially even more confounding: the things that come out of new parents’ mouths.
I believe my husband, for one, is worthy of extensive research. The moment our infant daughter started following the sound of our voices, Elmo inhabited his body.
“Aren’t you pretty! Aren’t you pretty!” Mr. Candy would exclaim over and over again in an octave only dogs could hear. He continues to speak in a jarringly high pitch to this very day, which is bad for his business meetings and the few remaining crumbs of my sanity, but good for marine biologists wishing to communicate with beluga whales*.
It also dawned on me last week that Mr. Candy addresses our one-year-old daughter almost exclusively with rhetorical questions.
Are you smiling at your grandma?
Is your Uncle Chris holding you?
Is your toy blue?
“Bah bah, da da,” Skye responds more often than not, which roughly translates** to “DUH, Captain Obvious.”
Being the sensitive, caring wife that I am, I couldn’t help but laugh at Mr. Candy and, in between giggles, demand to know why he’s turned into The Daddy-Riddler. He mumbled something about trying to be interactive and waved in my direction without looking at me. Except his hand must have gotten a cramp, because he was only able to wave with one finger.
Turns out, however, that Mr. Candy isn’t the only parent in this household to talk to the kid in question marks. Oh no. I decided to turn my evil eye of judgment on myself and what I saw, er… heard…? Wasn’t pretty.
Let’s make you some oatmeal… huh?
Those Cheerios are tasty… huh?
The bags under Mommy’s eyes are getting bigger… huh?
Yes! I have come down with a tragically annoying case of Huh?-itis! I am physically incapable of finishing a sentence without matter-of-factly punctuating it with, “Huh?”
Our daughter is going to have some messed up communication skills. Huh?
And don’t even get me STARTED on the baby talk that goes on between these walls. No, seriously, don’t. I promised Mr. Candy I wouldn’t talk about our sex habits again.
*What we’ve learned so far: Beluga whales are able to follow ‘Inception’ better than 99 percent of humans
**Translated with the iPhone “Babble Translator” app, most commonly used to converse with Ozzy Osbourne