Asked recently about her apparent unwillingness to cooperate or to act according to her parents’ wishes, Abigail Moore explained, “I don’t really listen to them. I pretty much do whatever I want.”
Pressed for additional details, Abigail continued, “look… they have their agenda and I have my agenda. Sometimes our goals synch up, but often we simply want to go in different directions. Hell… lots of times I can’t even figure out what they’re babbling about any way, so I’ve learned to just tune them out most of the time. I just filter out all the words except backpack, quack quack, raisins, Granma, and bath.”
Abigail’s father was not shocked to hear such revelations from his daughter. “Yeah… that sounds about right. I’d estimate that Abby listens to me about 10 percent of the time and complies with my requests about 1 percent of the time. I’m hoping to double my success rate over the next 17 or so years.”
Abby’s mother insisted that the problem was overblown. “I haven’t seen much of this behavior. Abby frequently does what I want her to do as long as she wants to do it and has started doing it prior to me asking her to do it. It’s not a perfect system, but it works out. Success is all about anticipation.”
Asked if she plans on behaving better in the future, Abby reflected, “probably not. Right now I’m in a phase we small people term ‘liftable.’ As soon as I get a little heavier, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to ignore my parents completely. The dog weighs about a buck-five and he hasn’t listened to anyone in like four years. He’s the gold standard for me right now.”
In a move surely designed to antagonize Hogan, Abby “chose” to be a tiger for Halloween. More troubling, Abby then “decided” to try on her furry outfit and to parade in front of the Rhodesian Ridgeback as he dozed on his leather lounger.
Hogan did not, however, leap off the couch and try to corner the “cat” in the livingroom. Instead, he merely lifted one weary eye toward costumed Abigail before circling three times on the cushions and returning to the realm of canine dreams.
When later asked about his lethargic reaction to a wild tiger clearly in need of chasing, Hogan seemed surprised that the tiger was in fact Abigail in disguise. He explained his lack of interest instead by insisting that his ancestors were “lion hounds,” not “tiger hounds.” He patiently explained that there are lions, there are tigers, and there are bears in the world, and that each respective game species has an appropriate breed of hound to chase them.
He was not at all sure what breed of dog should chase tigers, but in any event, he made it clear that it was not the Peabody Ridgeback.
My mother and father currently have barely 50% of their football picks correct so far this NFL season. That’s not impressive. My grandmother is under .500 for her picks. That’s even worse!
What these amateurs need is a viable, proven system for handicapping teams, but instead they rely on senseless data like “which team has the better punter,” or “which team plays in a dome,” or “which team’s mascot is more powerful.”
I wouldn’t care, but since they’re foolishly gambling with MY future college funds, I need to get these people back on track pronto. Towards that end, I offer my full-proof method for determining NFL winners.
All you need is a list of match-ups and a supply of cereal. Raise several pieces of cereal above your head, close your eyes, and drop the cereal on the list of teams. Where the cereal ends up accurately determines the victorious team, since cereal naturally gravitates toward winners, milk, and dog mouths. As you can see from the example pictured, the Patriots are looking like a lock to beat the Jets and to cover the spread.
Note: don’t conduct your experiment near milk or dog mouths or you may end up with spurious data!
I happen to favor stale Cheerios for my picks, but you can also use Capn Crunch. I do not suggest using oatmeal, simply because it tends to splatter, to obscure the results and to anger the owners of the carpet.
Give my system a try. I think you’ll like the results.
STFD! was incomplete and outplayed this week at Tin Whistle Trivia. We offer no excuses; we do offer an explanation.
Since the Silbergleit Summer Carnival pulled up its tent pegs and hoofed it out of town, we expected fewer/weaker competitors and we handicapped our varsity team accordingly. Our magnanimous, parity-seeking actions (we left both Abigail and Emily off the roster!) were horribly misplaced, as five fully-staffed rival teams ponied up and came to play harder than megashark and giant octopus combined.
We did not know who won the first ever Monday Night Football game, we did not know all of the monthly birthstones, we were not familiar with Jay-Z’s catalog of crap, we did not know Vince Vaughn’s sundry Hollywood aliases, and there were absolutely no questions concerning the wingspan of fowl.
Andy also proved to be, in the words of one observer, “pretty damn useless” during crunch time, since the final round was a puzzle variety akin to the brain-wrenching rebus riddles to be found beneath the evil caps of Lucky Lager. This is an area where Andy has never performed above the .08 percentile, and he once again folded before the challenge like a house of cards assembled by a kindergarten class.
A few Tin Whistle Trivia final round puzzle examples:
18 H I A R O G
200 D F P G I M
8 S O A S S
But perhaps more troubling than our third-place finish was the emergence of a new trivia team named Get The Fork Out!, a team clearly parodying the legendary success of Shut The Front Door! with admirably postmodern, mock homage.
This new team (which finished in forkly fourth… heh heh!) will undoubtedly polarize trivia fans, since it makes sense to eitherShut The Front Door!or to Get The Fork Out!, but to do both is unnecessarily redundant.
Next week we will field a complete, well-conditioned, motivated team. We will listen to additional crappy music, we will drink and solve several cases of the Lucky Lager, and we will arrive early to Shut The Front Door! before the fork folks even arrive. We’re curious to see if Get The Fork Out! turn into Lettuce The Fork In! when faced with a blocked entrance.
I love to visit my Great Aunts, Great Uncles, Grandparents, close family friends, and kindly strangers, since my parents often abandon me with little or no warning. Many of you may wonder, “isn’t it extremely difficult to care for Abigail?” Nahh… it’s a piece of cake for a baby as easy-going as I am!
What does my daily schedule look like? Here is a VERY rough idea:
7:00am – 6 ounce bottle!
8:00 or 9:00am – nap… whether I want it or not! I usually scream for 10 minutes, and then sleep for an hour or an hour and a half.
9:30ish or when I wake up – solid feeding.
11:30ish – 6 ounce bottle!
1:00ish – solid feeding.
2:30 or 3:30pm – another nap for an hour or so.
4:00pm – 6 ounce bottle!
6:30 or 7:00pm – my last 6 ounce bottle!
How do you make my bottle? No sweat. Really, don’t put sweat in my bottle. Put six ounces of warm water in a bottle, add three scoops of Enfamil premium formula (level scoops… no packing!), and shake it up!
I hate naps and I will scream when you put me down for one. That’s ok as I’m just developing my lungs. Let me shriek until I nod off (usually 5 to 15 minutes of me swearing at you in baby will tire me out the last little bit and I’ll fall asleep!)
Please change my diapers every couple of hours or when I smell like poo. And don’t take any pictures of me just wearing a diaper, or you will pay a stiff, violent price for your insolence!
Nancy really wanted to go to the beach, so Abby and Max made a deal with her. If Grandma would make them bottles, feed them watermelon, cheerios and peaches, pack up a selection of rattling toys, change their traditional diapers to swim diapers and then their swim diapers back to traditional diapers, lacquer them head to toe with sunscreen (including baby back massage), put their hats on, put their hats BACK on when they tore them off, remind them not to eat sand, remind them not to eat wet sand either because wet sand shouldn’t be eaten cuz it’s just regular sand with water in it, put them back in the shade of the blanket when they rolled, lurched or crawled off, and take them for stroller rides down the packed sand at the water’s edge when they got cranky, they would agree to go to the beach for the afternoon. Nancy agreed and was very well-behaved all morning long, so Abby and Max took her down to the ocean’s edge to cool off during the recent heatwave.
As you can see from the chart above, Abigail Inc. continues to see a negative earnings flow, and we anticipate a net loss for the next 72 quarters. Depending upon our ROI on golf and tennis lessons, we might see an improved outlook after the 62nd quarter, but we are conservatively hedging our mainstream, widely-accepted athletics calls with defensive athletics puts on left-handed fencing lessons on odd Saturdays to protect against the threat of college tuition.
This document contains forward-looking statements. Past performance is not an indicator of future gains.
Here at Moorezilla LLC we try moderately hard to produce an entertaining blog for a wide-range of attention spans and tastes. Occasionally we may cross lines of appropriateness and taste in our efforts to amuse the jaded members of our audience, and we are cognizant that we perilously run the risk of offending at times our readers maintaining more delicate, refined sensibilities.
When we do stray from the middle road of safety and moderation, our readers quickly put us back in our place. Our recent post, “Justice Served!” elicited a strong reaction from both admirers and detractors… and from spam bots as well for that matter! As examples:
Heather Barbarie commented, “…furthermore, taking a picture of your screaming, obviously traumatized child rather than comforting him is both sick and twisted.”
Thanks for your feedback, Heather! We’ll stop taking pictures of crying babies if YOU stop calling our daughter a HIM! We’ve had enough of your weaponized pronouns crushing our baby’s psyche.
Bill Munny wrote, “it’s nice to see parents dipping their toes into the polar waters of discipline. Your daughter will thank you when she grows up to be a productive member of society.”
Unfortunately, neither comment captures the truth, since Abby went from smiling to crying in the time it takes for our crappy digital camera to ready the flash and to snap a picture. As parents, we cave to our daughter’s demands like thin strips of balsa wood catching a bowling ball thrown from a roof; what Abby wants, Abby gets, and only the immutable laws of physics limit how quickly we give it to her.
Captured on the crawl and summarily convicted of tiredness, obstreperousness, and second-degree crankiness, Abigail Moore is hereby sentenced to serve a nap of 55 minutes with eligibility for parole after 30 minutes of good… or at least relatively quiet… behavior.
Mr. Hubert Wimberly of Top2B Awards writes, “congratulations, Abigail, on your Top2B nomination. There are over 3 billion blogs out there and yours now has a legitimate chance of being in the top two! Our panel of judges will compile the final voting results in December and notify you of your final rank for 2009.”
Thanks, Mr. Wimberly! Here’s hoping people vote early, often, and convincingly!
Wednesday is Prince spaghetti night, a common event distinguished by easy dishes, gluttonous portions, and simple thoughts. Nancy invaded my Prince spaghetti night by appearing in my kitchen, holding my 6 month-old daughter in her arms, and delivering me the nightmare kōan: “are babies capable of flirting?” After delivering this incendiary query, she handed back my smiling child and left with my wife to dine and to drink delicious cocktails elsewhere, so that I would have ample time to ponder this riddle in as close to meditative silence as one can get when one lives with a 6 month-old daughter with powerful lungs and a 4 year-old dog who sits in a chair by the window and refuses to allow people to walk by the house without hearing his disapproval.
Merriam-Webster says the following about flirt:
Pronunciation: \ˈflərt\. Function: verb. Etymology: origin unknown (unknown!? always a bad sign!). Date of origin: 1580.
Flirt is an intransitive verb with the following definitions:
1: to move erratically: to flit.
2a: to behave amorously without serious intent. 2b: to show superficial or casual interest or liking (flirted with the idea) ; also : experiment (a novelist flirting with poetry).
3: to come close to reaching or experiencing something —used with (flirting with disaster) (the temperature flirted with 100°).
Let’s tackle the easy ones first. Does Abigail “move erratically?” I prefer to describe my daughter’s movements as magical grace, but to the objective observer watching her flip awkwardly from stomach to back and from back to stomach, or to anyone with the luck to see Abby’s “armless” crawl across the bed sheet, it’s probably safe to describe her movements as erratic.
Definition 2a is the one everyone’s waiting for, so let’s hold off on that one for now. It’s better to eliminate the shorter-toothed pack before sneaking up on the alpha wolf.
Does Abigail “show superficial or casual interest or liking (flirted with the idea)”, or does she “experiment (a novelist flirting with poetry)?” Abigail does show casual interest in our plastic neglectacenter playarea (sorry, Lindsey, I know that the term “neglectacenter” is shamelessly stolen from you, but at least you get an inline note! That’s no small consequence when the note appears on a blog of Moorezilla’s stature, weight, and cultural influence!), Abigail does show casual interest in our television (whether it’s on or not), and Abigail does show casual interest in dustbunnies of a particular size and resemblance to actual woodland creatures. Furthermore, Abigail does not merely “experiment” with poetry; she speaks ONLY in poetry. Everything she says rhymes with “ew” or “ooo” or “ahh.” I actually tried to follow her language rules for an entire day once, and let me assure you that it is no small feat. Used in the wrong setting, strict adherence to the baby vernacular and grammar can cost you your job and/or your freedom!
Does Abby ever “come close to reaching or experiencing something,” or does she “flirt… with disaster?” I’m going to have to say, “yes” to this question as well. Our changing table is nosebleed high and precariously narrow, yet Abby, without fail, tries to roll over and off it during each and every diaper change. We have a picture of a cow in Abby’s crib (we believe that animal recognition skills are as, if not more, important than reading skills for children), and Abby repeatedly head butts the cow in the nose. The closest I’ve been to a cow is eating a rare steak, but I imagine that head butting a cow in the nose is at least a cousin of “flirting with disaster.” I will hang a picture of a bull in the crib this week; if she head butts a bull, I think we can safely check this definition completely off.
So this brings us back to 2a: “to behave amorously without serious intent.” Does my daughter, or more accurately, my nephew, Max, (since he is the real spur for this important investigation) hold the potential to behave amorously without serious intent? Max definitely behaves amorously. I doubt anyone would question his amorousness, so the matter hangs on his seriousness of intent. What does Max actually intend when he behaves amorously and is he really serious about it? Is he always blindly seeking milk, or does he… nay… CAN he on occasion, merely flash a smile or a wink for “intentless” purposes?
I can’t ask him. Even if he would answer me, I find awkward conversations… well.. awkward, and I have to imagine that there’s a chance that he would too. Can I really risk becoming the “weird” uncle while trying to settle someone else’s workplace bet? I don’t think so.
Still… there must be a way to at least ballpark Max’s potential for acting amorously without intent. Remember, I don’t really need to prove that Max is flirting; I only need to prove that Max can flirt. For this, we need to roll out our favorite resident psychiatrist (and coke addict!) Dr. Freud! Let’s see what the crazy cigar smoking cat has to say about baby flirting, shall we?
“From the moment of birth the infant is driven in his amorous actions by the desire for bodily/sexual pleasure, where this is seen by Freud in almost mechanical terms as the desire to release mental energy. Initially, infants gain such release, and derive such pleasure, through the act of sucking or of imitating sucking, and Freud accordingly terms this the ‘oral’ stage of development. Infants will certainly behave in this manner without sexual [that’s serious!] intent (emphasis mine!) on occasion, but the desire for sexual pleasure exists in infants.”
Whoa… that seals it, and that’s a lot more than I wanted to know! If Freud says babies can act amorously with or without serious intent, that’s good enough for me; now that I know, I’m going to start forgetting this as soon as I can. For the record, though, with a score of 3.75 out of 4 on the truthmeter, babies are hereby declared capable of flirting as long as flirting is used as an intransitive verb.
Go get em, Max, you potentially amorous without serious intention son of a gun! Abby, go to your room and stay there until you’re 25.
Mom reads me books over and over and over again. I like hearing the same book read to me, because I often fall asleep and miss parts. Depending upon how full my belly is, it can take me several nights to get through a whole story.
One book Mom reads is about a katurpiller. I’ve never seen a katurpiller, but it sounds like a pig with lots of feet. Basically, as I understand it, the very hungry katurpiller chews holes in some leaves, the katurpiller chews holes in some fruit, the katurpiller chews holes in some more fruit, and then the katurpiller ruins even more fruit instead of finishing any of the fruit he started to eat earlier, so, as you might imagine, he is never satisfied and he should be seen as a cautionary tale concerning American hyperconsumerist, anti-environmental practices.
Near the end of the book, the katurpiller faces the consequences of extreme and embarrassing gluttony after he gorges himself on all kinds of trash, discarded candy, and other detritus until he gets a debilitating stomach ache. Finally, having learned nothing from his shameful behavior, the katurpiller binges one final time and crams so much into his gullet that he can no longer leave his house and he dies a lonely shut-in.
That’s a very sad ending but it’s probably a relief to his katurpiller boss, since his disability payments were no doubt killing his leaf harvesting company and his boss can now outsource the very hungry katurpiller’s job to an Asian butterfly who has excellent math skills, has an incredible work ethic, and who only needs to eat a tiny bit of flower sap once a day.
Mom says that the katurpiller doesn’t die, that it’s the katurpiller that BECOMES the butterfly, but she’s not right. If the katurpiller BECOMES the butterfly, that means the very hungry katurpiller gets rewarded for his selfish behavior, his destructive dietary habits, and his ecological malfeasance. Whether I’m right or Mom’s right, the hungry katurpiller is certainly not an appropriate role model for babies! You don’t see me starting a new bottle until the bottle I’m drinking is either empty or at least older than an hour.
Another book we read quite often, The Giving Tree, is complex and rather troubling. The author looks scary and he writes about a tree that talks to a boy. Mrs. Tree gives everything, but Mrs. Tree gets nothing back. That’s basically the whole book, but Mrs. Tree’s raw deal is even worse when you look closely at the situation, and we’re going to look more closely at Mrs. Tree’s plight in part two.
This is what’s known as a “teaser,” so I’m not going to talk about Mrs. Tree until my second book review.
Before we go, you should know that this Shel guy not only gives me a lot to think about, but he also gives Hogan Dog nightmares. As you may know, Hogan’s canine ancestors actually worked for a living. Ancient ridgebacks chased down lions that needed chasing, so Hogan was shocked when he learned of Shel’s book about a lion who shoots back. It’s called Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back.
Lions that shoot back at ridgebacks? That’s crazy talk! That’s unacceptable! Now I know why Mom hates cats so much; cats are freaking dangerous and unpredictable any way, and now we come to learn that some of them are armed! Unbelievable!
I want Mom to get the book and to read it to me several times, so I can figure out where this ridgeback shooting lion is. If Lafcadio is somewhere far away, like South Africa or Arlington, Hogan will be able to relax more… although too much more Hogan relaxation might mean that the vetteranarrian can’t find Hogan’s pulse any more, so we might tell Hogan that the shooting back lion is kind of close, but not too close, so Hogan will wake up once in a while to make sure there’s no shooting back lion in the yard. Hogan hasn’t been this upset since he learned about the spraying back skunk!
That’s all for this book review. We’ll analyze what went wrong with Mrs. Tree next time, so if you haven’t had The Giving Tree read to you yet, now’s your chance to get caught up. It’s a complicated book, so make sure someone reads it to you several nights in a row.
A dark day it was when mother’s milk gave way to cursed Enfamil, but the sweetness of the early days softened somewhat the blow of the ill-powdered bottle. I had heard promising stories of the “cereal phase,” so I gamely put up with the foul formula in anticipation of fare more suitable to my discriminating palate.
Imagine my disappointment when “cereal” turned out to be a not too distant cousin of Quikrete, a rice-based paste more suitable as mortar between bricks than as nourishment for a presumably cherished addition to the family. This foul substance offers no snap, no crackle, and certainly no pop; it simply oozes lazily from sandpaper dry to muddy mush, a ladled slop instantly recognizable to your average unfortunate Western tourist who has spent any number of meals in a Turkish penitentiary awaiting trial.
Compounding the problem and intensifying the outrage, I began to notice other denizens of my abode enjoying complex grains of admirable weight, delectable crunch, and robust flavor. Even the primitive, somnolent fur beast consumes with relish a bowl of audibly crunchy, bison flavored grains each morning and afternoon. At least he recognizes my isolation from the pack’s foodstuffs and occasionally licks my face and belches in my direction after finishing off his allotted portion. He is a kind-hearted if admittedly disgusting beast.
One might surmise that I would grow accustomed to shoddy treatment at the hands of the giants, that I would learn to accept my bland diet as a thinly-veiled nutritional penalty for depriving them of sleep, of silence, of dinners out, and of golf. I have not! I will not! This baby rages coolly beneath a smiling, calculating exterior!
By far the worst part is the taunting method with which they carry out their torture. I could almost stomach the outrageous treatment when under the foolish impression that mushed rice was the only cereal conveniently available, but during a recent arm ride through the house I was greeted by the Good Capn smiling out of the partially opened pantry!
It’s not that the tall ones are too lazy or absent-minded to purchase appropriate foodstuffs; they have it and they’re keeping it from me! Their offense is not mere incompetence; it is sadistic treachery on a level unfathomable for first time parents!
I take some consolation in the fact that the Good Capn perches on but the second pantry shelf, a shelf that I will soon be able to reach as these chubby infant legs learn to support standing upright and bipedal motion. Each day I kick my father harder when he holds me and each day I wave my legs wildly when my mother attempts to dress me, an aggressive training regimen that should pay dividends in the months to come…
Damn! Damn! Damn! I must leave off this ledger for now. It appears that the tall ones have just bought me mushed apples (no doubt for their amusement), and this new outrage will require its own separate entry.
With her rapier-sharp wit, babylicious looks, and undeniable fashion sense, it was only a matter of time before Abigail was tapped out to appear on an upcoming episode of the long-running Simpsons.
Don’t miss her this coming Sunday when she guest stars with that stupid punk baby (sorry! We forgot his name!) that got the e-Trade high-chair account! We can’t give much more of the script away, but we can say that she gets to call him a “spitupapotamus” to his face!
The pro-baby bjorn lobby is strong. It’s tough to go too far on a sunny day without seeing some yuppie couple slinging around a little person in one of those fake marsupial pouches. The problem is, however, that if you’re less than 6 months old, your view from the baby bjorn is as bad as any sled husky rearward of the lead dog. All you see is a non-stop commercial for Adirondack, North Face, or some other over-priced fleece product.
So Ragnar writes:
“Ever since the 1970s, study after study has shown the importance of early eye-to-eye contact, of close bodily contact between parents and their new-born babies or infants. Blah blah blah… The baby bjorn facilitates this like no other product.” – Ragnar Olegård
Maybe so! Maybe the bjorn is the best thing since disposable diapers, but this crazy bjorn-pimping Swede is costing us little people a wealth of visual stimulation.
Over there I’m with my Mom, my Dad, and my 2nd cousin and they’re enjoying the view from Lighthouse Beach. What am I staring at? You guessed it: a Champion jacket logo. Thanks for the ride, Captain Kangaroo, but I might as well have stayed at home sucking on a bottle, since craning my neck just brings the zipper into view.
And I’m not really one to complain for no reason! It’s not like I’m picking a fight here, but look at some of the other things I’ve missed due to this stupid baby-carrying contraption!
Here I am in Fenway park the last time Manny Ramirez showed up to play left field. Great seats, jackass! Mortgage my college fund to get them? I don’t suppose the breastaurant is open?
It’s bad enough to miss the entire game, but how would you also like to be crushed into a hodge podge of peanut shells, mustard, cheap beer, and whatever else this slob pours down the front of him during a four and a half hour game?
Here we are on a family trip to Europe. Same freaking deal! Paris in Spring is really no different than Peabody in Spring if you tour the continent in an f’n bjorn.
So you might want to think about using the stroller once in a while. Sure, it’s a little less convenient and you have to hose down the tires when one of you absent-mindedly runs it through the fresh dog poo on the sidewalk. But isn’t that better than every exciting event and cultural scene appearing behind your baby’s back?
If you tuned in early for the Baby Crawl by the Bay races, you witnessed Abigail’s complete dominance of the 5 meter freestyle belly, a race she won by two lengths.
Max proved himself a gamer, however, with a great showing in the 5 meter back crawl — pictured above and no doubt the cover of SI and Baby Racing magazines for March. In this photo finish, you can see that only a late burst by Abigail pushed her across the line for the win. Is the baby racing field finally leveling?
Gracious in defeat, when interviewed after the race, Max commented, “listen… Abby is the baby we’re all trying to beat out here and it’s an honor just to be here today. She’s been racing since before I was even born, and she made this sport what it is today.”
When asked about the apparent size advantage Max has over her, despite his younger age, Abigail refused to point fingers but added, “I’ve always said that our sport needs to test for performance-enhancing drugs. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but you’ve got to wonder about the size of that dude’s hands. I don’t know. It just seems odd. Look at my hand and then look at his. I’m just saying. I like Max. He’s a good kid and he’s gonna help push this sport to a new audience one day. He might be clean… but in any case someone should really check his diaper.”
Ok, my little friend, here’s how this works. You sit there and scratch my back, and while you’re scratching my back, I’ll clean the food off your face. This is symbiosis! This is teamwork!
Think of the opportunities when you are trapped in your high chair faced with the task of eating far too many string beans or peas or sweet potatoes, while I’m on the floor barely sated by the pittance these people give me in the way of nutrition. All you’ll have to do is push your food over the edge and my good friend gravity will take it from there.
It’ll be sweet! You’ll love it! We’ll practice this more later when you’re off formula. Formula gives me gas.