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If Trees Could Scream

So far parenthood isn't all that different from non-parenthood. I still eat at the same five restaurants and drink myself to sleep at night and occasionally get peed on. I just now have a car seat wedged into an upside-down highchair, am less discriminating about my liquor choices, and try not to let "careless urination" incidents turn into fistfights.

Jack Handey once Deep Thought,

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

I suspect that Handey had an infant in or near his life when he came up with the preceding. Baby Madeline doesn't necessarily scream all the time, but quite often she has no good reason.

Or possibly it's just that her reasons are so opaque. The scream for "I'm starving" sounds a lot like the scream for "I couldn't eat another drop." The scream for "I have soiled myself. How embarrassing." is pretty indistinguishable from the scream for "if you remove my diaper, I'll pee all over you." And the scream for "please bring me my Sophie the giraffe" is quite similar to the scream for "I hate Sophie the giraffe, and if you squeak her one more time I'm going scream (which you might not be able to distinguish from this scream, but so be it)."

When she's not screaming, she's pretty delightful, although so far she's shown no interest in Hilbert spaces, Objectivism, the Priory of Sion, or any of the other myriad topics I've tried to teach her about.

For entertainment she mostly enjoys being sung the "Where's the Tiger?" song, which seems to be the Indian version of "Frère Jacques," which (I figure) gives me license to sometimes sing it as "Where's the Cobra?" or "Where is Gandhi?" or "What is Dharma?"

I also downloaded a bunch of rock-songs-as-lullabyes compilations, but once she realized the Dark Side of the Moon ones didn't sync with The Wizard of Oz, we both lost interest and abandoned the project.

Anyway, she is a funny kid, and grooming her to take over the world someday really cuts into my writing and blogging time. (Also, not sleeping on account of her screaming really cuts into my writing and blogging energy.) But I now have a good idea for a parenting book, and an auto-repair manual, and a short story about a kid who likes baseball but is no good at it, so I'll try to ease myself back into writing. Also, I've been criminally neglecting promotion for the spreadsheet book, so if you want to push a few copies of that on your friends, that would be kind.

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