People just think babies are soooooo fucking cute. They are cute, of course--well, most of them--but anybody forced to deal with them over a long enough time knows that's only when they want to be. Back when I didn't change diapers, I had no idea that was the case. However, over the past 9 months or so I have become privy to their true nature. Demanding, tyrannical, unreasonable, defiant, trollish...vaguely evil at times. (I sometimes question whether there should be an "M" instead of an "I" in little Deion's name.)
Honestly, it gets a little scary at times. Partially because these are my worst fears about parenthood literally come to life, but mostly that such a tiny, weak little nothing that could be balled up and thrown in the trashcan at any time by even the frailest of adults can posess such immense and occult powers. In fact, allow me to recount to you a tale from just this morning, detailing just how horrific the experience can be.
It was a bright and sunny morning. I knew this because my eyes briefly cracked open during my peaceful slumber to get a general sense of what time of day it was. I rolled over, dug my body further into the blankets, and prepared to doze off for a hour or two more as I have been able to do all week because I haven't had to babysit. (These are the perks of being the backup parent for now...the starter gets the glory, but she has to carry the team most of the time.) That's when I heard a most ominous knock at my door.
I went to answer it, wondering who it could be. I was asleep, so I didn't order any food. (Be cool to be able to do though...imagine waking up to a hot meal completely alone.) The election is over, so it couldn't be more people wandering around my neighborhood reminding people to vote Democrat again. I didn't enter a sweepstakes, there was nobody waiting outside with a 3 foot check. Who could it be? I flourished my midnight blue robe around myself, giving it one more decent tug as I went to see what business this visitor had at my home.
I opened the door to find a gypsy woman standing at the threshold of my home in the pouring sunlight. A winter wind howled angrily to punctuate her arrival, and her rose-hued scarf whipped about like hurricane flags warning of impending disaster. (Hi, Shannon!) The gray-cloaked woman greeted me with a kiss just as Judas did. I felt her up a little because it's a reflex.
That's when I noticed that her arms she bore a tiny creature, swaddled deep within cloth to hide most of its' form. It grunted and growled as hot saliva poured from its increasingly toothy mouth. I had seen similar creatures before...they were creatures of the night often referred to as Baby. Without a word, she extended it towards me. It's nubby teeth glinted in the sun like daggers as it appeared to recognize me--possibly as food--and began to squeal and flail in my direction.
I recoiled slightly, taken aback by the strange woman and her almost-human companion. "Take him." she rasped. "He is yours now." I weighed the pros and cons, and considered the short and long term ramifications of accepting or denying her strange offer. After ruminating on it for a minute or two (what do you want, I just woke up!) I issued my well-measured rebuttal: "but I don't wanna..."
Upon hearing this, the woman became enraged. "Then be cursed!" she shrieked, thrusting the baby into my arms. She hissed at me over her shoulder as she dramatically flung her cloak over her and disappeared into thin air. (Okay, she said "too bad, see you later babe", and happily bounced out, but that's how it seemed to me at that point.) There I was, standing there holding the baby, wondering what to do now. "Shit.", I thought to myself, hoping my words would not become prophetic in having to change a diaper.
I returned to the living room, monster in tow. It was still making a bunch of noises, but didn't look like it had too much malicious intent in mind at the time, so I figured I'd just plop it on the couch next to me as I handled important social networking business. I knew from previous research that babies like to practice hunting and other tasks...or "play", as it's sometimes termed...so I gave it a small animal doll to attack while I attempted to go about my affairs.
It was only a matter of time before the creature became restless. It was through toying around. Slowly, it approached, burbling as it came. It snapped its little jaws and drooled thickly, its' chubby limbs facilitating its predatory advance. It became apparent that the creature was out for blood.
I remained perfectly still, hoping the baby's vision was based on movement and I would thus become invisible to it. I felt a little hand on my body and my muscles tensed. The creature slithered up my body, using a shoulder to pull itself into a standing position as I felt its warm breath on the back of my neck. I was paralyzed with fear that I wouldn't get to finish what I was doing.
I tried some common distractions like making faces to scare it away, making sweeping motions with my arms and legs to make myself look like an entertaining threat, and making peace offerings such as the liquid filled plastic tubes I'd read somewhere they enjoy. These tactics kept it at bay for a precious while, but eventually the baby began to wail angrily...a battle cry. I knew then that it was preparing to attack my peace, ending my day as I knew it.
Thinking quickly, I seized the creature and placed it in a sleeper hold, cradling its body in my arms, hoping I could restrain it long enough for it to relax and pass out, ending the threat. It thrashed about, resisting my defensive technique with every ounce of strength in its tiny body. It emitted a a series of unholy wails and lashed out at me, incensed. The cries increased in volume as its eyeballs sweated to lubricate its eyelids off of them. An odd protoplasm flowed from its nose as it continued to buffet me with its fun-size wrath. I'm pretty sure its head spun a few times. It was a truly ghastly occurrence.
As I sat being assaulted by the miniature monster, wondering how long I could withstand its' sonic onslaught, I couldn't help but think of the course of events that lead me to this position in life. I recalled the kiss of doom from the gypsy woman earlier, and lamented the fact that that or something like it had to be the reason I was in my current state. Even as this dark thought dragged itself across my lacerated mind, the sound of the baby's fury threatened to destroy my very sanity. Somehow, I knew bringing harm to the little beast would have dire consequences. With no other options, I simply braced myself for the oblivion of madness.
Just as I reached my mental breaking point, the creature seemed to lose some vigor. Its blood-curdling screams started to lose conviction, the thrashing of its limbs slowly began to subside, and its mannerisms became torpid. A ray of hope shone into my desperate situation as the little monster began to grow fatigued and its infantry began to lose the battle. I stared into the tiring baby's eyes...there was nothing there but pure evil and a really sleepy look. I knew then and there it was on me to take the creature down. I locked in my hold and hoped I had enough strength left to finish the job.
Finally, the deed was done. The creature's lifeless body lay next to me on the couch, defeated. I almost picked it up and spiked it like a football in celebration, but I was too afraid I would somehow wake it up by doing so. I decided to forego my dance of triumph and laid it to rest in a small container designed specifically for the purpose. I regarded its' still, peaceful form lying motionless on the mat within, and couldn't help but to think that it was kind of cute when it was quiet. Adorable, really.
I couldn't resist a smile at the dichotomy, hoping it stayed as cute as possible for as long as possible as I walked back to my couch to continue with my various e-ndeavors. It was finally the end.
Just then, I heard a shuffle and a small groan.
I turned back to see a tiny hand extending from where I had placed the creature's body.
It wasn't over (then again, few horror movies ever really are).