Baby Brainwashing

Today was my first day back to the office, and it felt very strange to walk down the street from our apartment and not be toting thirteen kilos of toddler. Spending two weeks in the constant company of a two year old has had some clear effects on my mind.

For a start, it’s only by an incredible force of will that when I need to leave my desk and go to the toilets, I prevent myself from murmuring “Daddy pooping” as La Serpiente, has, through a diligent campaign of repetition, inculcated in my vocabulary. Like a scatological version of Pavlov’s dog, except it’s more like the dog rings a bell and Pavlov is forced to utter something infantile.

This evening I decided that I was going to get La Serpiente down before nine pm. Well, more fool me. Although she dismissed the three Mr Men books she’d chosen for her bedtime story without finishing any of them, she spent the next hour and a half constantly demanding cuddles, and melting down when they didn’t come immediately.

By nine thirty I was almost in tears myself, frustrated and panicking about immigration forms that I haven’t finished for Butterball Destroyer. I had to admit defeat and pass duties back to my wife, which is hardly fair as I’m not contributing to the breastfeeding schedule at all at this point. I went and slumped on the sofa, a husk of the man I once was. If the CIA could figure out a way to use small children as enhances interrogation techniques, I bet they would. (They’ve already got form for using Barney The Dinosaur to break people – “Daddy cuddles” could be their next step…)

On the bright side, I have retained my ability to effectively swaddle infants, and I did get out for a run this evening, even if it took me until nearly half ten to start. The road to fitness is a long one…

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