It's time for Daddy Chat Time!
“Well, it’s time for Daddy Chat Time!” I sang to those big, blue eyes, in an improvised tune from some random talk show.
“Absolutely Daddy Chat Time!” Still singing. “Intermittent Daddy Chat Time…Cause Daddy’s at work all the time, and he has to sing to the ba-by on the weekends…”
It’s our conflicting schedules. My wife works during the day and takes the baby with her, because she was lucky enough to get a job at a day care center. I come home from night work within 10 minutes of her leaving, and I am in bed several hours before she gets home. I may see her and the baby for a few minutes before I leave for work when I get up, the next night. As a result, I’m basically a weekend father, without the divorce.
So, on the weekend, when I can grab the baby between feedings or nappings (both hers AND mine), I sit her on my lap and talk to her. We call it “Daddy Chat Time”. I always start by singing the theme song.
“…when he sings silly stuff to the ba-by, and tries to make her laugh…And tries to make her smile, cause smiles are like crack for the daaa-ddyyyyyy…”.
Adults will do the dumbest shit with the assumption that they are entertaining babies. Silly talk, funny faces, mouth noises…You will never see someone being a bigger ass, doing more “too dumb to fuck” shit than when they are trying to make a baby laugh.
OK, sweety…” I like to talk to her like she’s an adult. “How was your week?” No answer but a big smile.
“Well, OK bebe…” She had been talking up a storm lately, no time like the present to work on that. “Let’s see if you can talk to me…”
She stares blankly. But there is still a smile.
“MA…MA. MA-MA. Can you say that? Ma ma?”‘
“Baaaababab…brababbaaaa…daaaaAAAHHHHHHaahhhhhhhhhh….” She gurgled.
“Good! Now try Da-Da. Daaaa-Daaaa? Can you say Da-Da?”
“DaabaaabaaBAAAA BAAA BAAAA bleeberweeberouthbbbb…” A valiant effort for a 6 month old.
“Good!!!” I yelled. “Now the big one, are you ready?”
She blankly stared with a last minute smile and gurgly giggle.
“OK…Now say it with me…MO-THER-FU-CKER….Can you say that? MOTHERFUCKER?”
“WHAT WAS THAT?!!” the ever patient Mrs. Wrecked-Um hollered from the kitchen, before the baby could answer.
I lowered my voice. “Mother…Fuck…Er…Sound it out, sweety…Muuuuuu…Therrrrrrrr…” The baby just cooed and laughed.
My wife appeared in the doorway. “Stop that! That isn’t funny. She’ll hear enough of that without YOU trying to teach it to her directly.”
“Oh, come on, honey.” I pleaded. “You’d rather she learn it on the street? At least if I teach her, she learn it properly. Proper pronunciation, grammar, spelling…”
My wife rolled her eyes.
“…And when it’s appropriate to use it.”
“What?!” She yelled. “YOU don’t have a CLUE when it’s appropriate! She’ll grow up cursing at everyone like you do!”
“In my defense, everyone deserves it.” I replied.
“Regardless, I don’t want you teaching her that.” She had her hands on her hips now, a sure sign she was serious. The baby was looking back and forth at us like a tennis match.
“Honey, by the time I was her age, I was cursing at a fifth grade level. If we start early, we may be able to skip the whole “ca-ca” and “wee-wee” stages and go right to “Piss” and “Shit”. I’m only thinking of her future.”
“She’s six months old! You didn’t even talk until you were over a year old, and even then you just quoted the Star Wars Boba Fett commercial. Your sister told me that.” She turned to walk back into the kitchen.
“But I was THINKING IT..” I yelled to her.
“I don’t care, don’t teach her that shit, she’ll learn it soon enough.”
The baby looked back at me, still sporting an amused smirk that she obviously got from me. I pulled her really close and lowered my voice to a whisper.
“OK, mom doesn’t want me teaching you curse words, we’ll have to try something else.”
Her eyes seemed to widen as I talked. “OK, sound this one out, it’s another one of my favorites…DOUCHE…BAG…Can you say that? DOUCHEBAG?”
She threw her head back with a giggle. We’re making progress.