Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super (Bowl) Babies

In watching Sunday's Super Bowl, it's evident that advertisers believe that when they need a laugh and it doesn't matter how much they pander, babies are just what the consumer ordered. 

"Wait till you see the pictures I've downloaded."
One of this year's most popular Super Bowl ads features a cute baby in a harness on his grandmother's chest, slingshotting off and snagging, guess what??? That's right, a bag of Doritos. There was, of course, also an Etrade ad featuring that talking baby, who still has his moments but is starting to feel a little tired.

These portrayals of babies got me thinking about what one can reasonably expect of a child in its first months on the planet.

Mid-diaper change, could one of my identical twin boys conceivably offer me a stock tip? 

Maybe one of them will create some elaborate distraction involving a sombrero and origami fashioned from diaper wipes while his brother heads to the kitchen on the hunt for Chips Ahoy. Oh the fun we'll have as my super-intelligent kids consistently outsmart their parents!

I admit that this these considerations typically devolve into fantasy of some sort of prodigy baby capable of adult feats while others his age are still unable to crawl. As I'm seeing, reading and learning by talking to parents, there is in fact not a whole lot that kids do the first few months, aside from perform bodily functions. Also, they cry. A lot.

On the face of it, this sounds rather boring. No Doritos heists or highjinks of any kind? Crying and, as we've discussed, diapers. At first blush, the first few months sound like little more than work. (No doubt, it will be.)

Look who has all the answers -- again.
When the initial glow of birth wears off, what are these kids?  What will they be like? Will they laugh and smile a lot? Will they be serious? Will they talk a lot or will they be quiet? Waiting for the answers to these questions to emerge is difficult for folks like me (see: impatient). 

I can't help but think of the Simpsons episode in which the entire family is eagerly awaiting the youngest child, Maggie, to say her first words.

After much prodding by siblings Bart and Lisa, and gentle cajoling by mom Marge, the episode closes with Homer taking his little girl to bed, her first words still unspoken.

As he lovingly lays her in her crib and tucks her in, Homer says: "You know Maggie, the sooner kids talk, the sooner they talk back. I hope you never say a word."

Here, I'll defer to Homer.

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