I came to realize this evening that people don’t use baby talk with their children because they think it’s cute. It’s not that they don’t care about early language development, and how imperative it is for infants to hear lots of words before forming their own. It’s because having a baby turns your brain to mush, and your intellectual abilities melt down until the most sophisticated sentence you can form is "goo goo goo, ga ga ga". It’s not baby talk because that’s what babies like: it’s baby talk because that’s what babies force on you.
This evening I went to get our guarantor to sign our daughter’s passport application. This is quite important, because in Singapore it’s a criminal offence not to get your child a passport within 6 weeks (if you’re not a Singaporean), and I imagine that after I finished my month of jail time, they’d revoke my employment visa and the three of us would have to leave. Except Felicity would still have no passport, so perhaps her mother and father would have to depart while she was flung into an orphanage for the children of feckless expatriates.
I frightened my wife into filling out paperwork with the specter of losing her child, which shows a little fear can go a long way sometimes. Our guarantor is an American lawyer who has known us for years; outside Canada, the requirements to be a guarantor are marginally less onerous than inside Canada, whereas the British application process is equally forbidding everywhere, almost as if they didn’t trust you. However, for a Canadian passport you have to have the name and address of the photographic studio that took your picture written on the back of it, which is another weird requirement. I suppose if the UK did similar, it might have prevented me from having the frankly ridiculous passport I rocked until 2010, complete with erroneous eye colour, invisible jawline, etc.
So I took a long bus ride to my guarantor’s apartment, and we had a beer, and the conversation moved to breastfeeding, and if you told me a year ago we’d be having a civil conversation about our wives’ nipples, I’d have thought you mad, a cad, or a bounder. Strange how times change.
I got home and sat in our new rocking chair, which rocks. It is highly efficient at soothing Felicity to sleep. The ottoman which came with it also rocks, but unfortunately that’s due to a design fault which means it doesn’t sit flat on the floor. Ah well, you can’t have it all, you just goo goo ga ga … what was I saying?