December 16, 2009

Babies Get Praised for Everything

One thing that's become glaringly obvious over the last three months of my unfolding fatherhood is that babies can basically do nothing wrong. In fact, not only can they do nothing wrong, they get ladled with adoring praise for doing things that are often, quite frankly, monumentally disgusting.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the need to encourage children, and particularly babies. For babies, after all, every day is dedicated to the tasks of eating, breathing, digesting, sleeping and growing, which are all activities we in the adult world tend to take for granted. So, you might as well encourage and praise their little ongoing efforts to stay amongst us.

However, I've recently begun to question some of the praise and encouragement my wife has been showering upon our son. I suppose I can chalk some of it up to a slight delirium on her part stemming from a lack of sleep, but I can't help but question the value of singing an encouraging song that goes "Push, push, push out the poopies!" Believe me, he doesn't need a song to help jumpstart that process. He does just fine on his own. Nevertheless, the refrain "Push, push, push out the poopies!" has become extremely popular in our little household. I expect a video of the song to go viral on YouTube any day now.

On a related note, my wife also doles out hefty praise after pretty much every single bowel movement our son embarks upon. No sooner do we hear the sound of a squishy expulsion slam against a diaper, my wife is proclaiming "Good job! Such a good boy!" I can't help but imagine praise like that leading to certain problems in the future. The boy will be 15-years-old and expect to hear wild applause every time he finishes using the bathroom, for example. I just wonder if we may be setting the accomplishment bar a bit low here.

The boy also garners whoops of appreciative glee whenever he burps, spits up, drools, grabs on to something, makes a sound, opens his eyes, yawns, kicks his legs or basically performs any other mundane feat. I mean, let's face it, all these are pretty naturally occurring acts; it's not like the boy is scrawling Einstein's theory of relativity on the floor with a crayon.

I have to admit, now that I really think about it, all this complaining about baby encouragement and praise is an attempt to disguise the fact I'm actually quite jealous.

I mean, you know how awesome it would be if I were in the bathroom, and I heard someone singing "Push, push, push out the poopies!" to me? As it is now, the only thing I hear is "GAH! Close the door and open the window if you're going to do that!" That kind of thing just doesn't instill much in the way of confidence.

Also, I burp loudly and proudly almost every day, and I never hear one word of praise. NOT ONE. No, the only thing I hear is "Yuck, that stinks. Lay off the garlic. Is that really necessary?" Yet when the baby burps loud enough to shake the rafters and the smell of old milk fills the room, you'd think he won Olympic gold or something. It's just not fair, dang it.

I guess it's just tough to admit a three-month-old baby gets far more praise and adoration for accomplishing things I've honed to absolute perfection over the last 34 years.

A little shout out from time to time would be nice, is all I'm saying.

Posted by Ryan at December 16, 2009 07:23 PM | TrackBack

Posted by: Keith at December 17, 2009 02:33 PM

You should visit the Charmin toilets in Times Square. People cheer *and dance* when you're done.

Posted by: Stephen R at January 5, 2010 12:31 PM
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