Written by: Josh June 20 2011 My go-to solution in […]
Written by: Josh June 20 2011
My go-to solution in the case of a Bub incident isn’t very scientific. It isn’t based on baby books or politics or even ergonomics. It’s based on movement. Lots of movement, with a side order of big goofy grin. I call it Daddytainment.
Necessity is the mother of invention, true. And sometimes it’s also the invention of stupidity. When Baby really gets to wailing in the banshee-blushing register, it forces your hand a bit. You have to innovate, extemporize. You have to act a fool. Luckily, this comes pretty naturally for me.
Case in point: We were having a little quality tummy time today. Crawling thus far is not coming naturally to the lad, so I got down on my man-belly with him. What I immediately realized is that I have completely forgotten how to crawl. It’s totally not like riding a bike. What I did instead—aside from provide a poor model—did create a veritable chucklefest. Point for Daddy.
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My demonstration of crawling was much more in the vein of Sean Connery in The Untouchables dragging himself through his apartment, all riddled with bullets, leaking blood the way a K-Car leaks transmission fluid. Okay, minus the blood, bullets and cinematography, but otherwise spot-on. Now for some reason when I put my arm ahead of me perpedicularly and said, ‘Puuullll,’ it brought down the house. The House of Bub.
He’s been laughing now for a few months. The first time I heard it of course I thought he was choking to death. But with an incongruously satisfied look on his face, the way one might choke on beluga caviar. I think it all started with his toy telephone. Every time I answered the phone, he would look at me and then giggle his face off when he learned it was for him. This routine has been since downgraded to smile-only, but it’s earnest.
He also likes my stubble. One day on the changing table, in between zerberts (another fan favorite), I grabbed his flailing hands and stuck them to my cheeks. As he dragged them across about four days of slovenly manliness, he started gut-laughing. Too bad that doesn’t work for Mommy.
Yes, my bag of tricks is pretty deep these days. We’ve got a rigorous karate-kick routine, in which I play the role of the dead-weight bag. We dance (I lead). If he’s in a bad way, sometimes I have to go above and beyond. Sing Vampire Weekend at the top of my lungs. Play some Eddie Van Halen air guitar. Generally sacrifice my body for a cheap laugh. I never thought I’d call myself a Vaudevillian, but if the clown shoes fit…
It occurs to me now that many moons ago, I played a nearly identical entertainment role as that of the older brother. My lot in early life, to dazzle my brother by any means necessary. I served up a fine comedic cocktail of two parts slapstick, one part screwball, with a splash of obnoxious that my brother would drink up for hours on end (or so I’m told). Who knew it would come in handy thirty years later?