"We're in town at my mother-in-law's," one of my best friends from highschool said after calling me. He had gotten married out of state and had a baby. "Can you come see us? I'd love for you to meet my wife."
I put The Scribe in her car seat, and followed the directions to meet my friend. Too bad I had no clue how badly the visit would go.
After ringing the doorbell, I peered through the elaborate windows. A huge chandelier hung in the entryway. A majestic staircase rested at the end of the hall. The vaulted ceiling practically touched the floor of Heaven....
The door opened after a moment, and a man and woman were there to greet me. "Well, hello," the fifty-something man said, his grey hair sparkling like the chandelier above him. He wore a maroon robe and fuzzy slippers, even though it was the afternoon.
"Hi." I held the carseat in only one hand and waved. "Is Dan here?"
"Dan--that character--why yes he is."
So, this felt weird, like the beginning of either a horror movie or a too-good-to-be-true Disney episode.
The greying couple led me around the staircase, through a hallway, and down to an enormous living room with a fireplace, grand piano, and a mini bar.
Dan sat on the ground next to a gorgeous woman, and beside them was a little baby boy on a blanket.
"Oh, he's darling!" I ran over to the baby and set The Scribe near him in her car seat.
"It's so good to see you," Dan said. "And this is Jessica, and my in-laws." He motioned to everyone, and I shook their hands. "But most importantly, THIS is Aiden." He pointed to the baby.
The visit started off quite well, but after only a few minutes, I noticed something very strange. They kept talking about Aiden--their baby--but no one had said anything about my baby.
I studied Aiden. So, my baby was pretty fresh out of the womb; Aiden looked like he'd been out for a while. Rolls cascaded over his arms and legs. His smile was a mere manipulation of fat.
"Oh goo goo! You so cute, baby. You so cute!" Jessica chirped like a repetitive, high-pitched parrot.
"He is darling," I said.
"Yes, he is. Aren't you. Aren't you. Aren't you." Jessica's voice had ascended even higher--and if she were a man, I'd have thought someone was squeezing her....
Anyway, I could not believe they hadn't said anything about my baby--let's face it--she was cuter. So I took The Scribe from her car seat and let her rest on her back next to Aiden.
At this point, Dan's in-laws came to stand near the babies. I thought they'd say something--anything--about The Scribe. BUT, they didn't!
"Aiden. Aiden. Look over here. Good, baby. Good boy!"
What was he--a flippin' dog?
That's when it happened, Aiden became so happy, he began flailing his arms. He smacked my baby in the face, and used the leverage to roll over.
"He rolled! He rolled!" Jessica stood and started jumping. You would've thought he'd won the damn olympics!
And didn't they see he'd only rolled because my baby had helped him?
I looked down at The Scribe who had baby tears in her eyes, from getting smacked, but she wouldn't cry. Her little face even smiled a little when she saw me gazing down tenderly at her. My baby was cute AND brave.
"He did roll!" the in-laws both chimed.
"Has he rolled before?" I asked.
"Oh, yes! Lots of times. Has YOUR baby rolled?"
"Are you kidding?! MY baby can roll!" I said. The point was, my baby had never rolled. She'd recently escaped from another person's body for crying out loud! Wasn't that enough for anyone these days?!
So they started, for the first time, staring at my baby. And I'm still not sure what came over me, but I began using telepathy.
ROLL. I sent the word with my mind. ROLL. But my baby didn't know how to read minds--she got that from her father!
And before I knew it, my hand was sneaking ever so gently, underneath the blanket. I didn't look at the blanket, though, or my baby. Instead I looked around the room. "What a nice place you have here," I said.
But no one else looked around. And then faster than anything, I tugged on the blanket. "My gosh! SHE rolled. My baby rolled too!" I squealed and clapped.
Apparently those people only liked it when Jessica clapped. All four of them just stared at me, then blinked. I held The Scribe up-- "Oh sweetheart! You rolled. You rolled. Who's the good baby? You're the good baby!"
The Scribe looked at me with her tiny little eyes, judging me like I was an idiot.
And in that small moment, it had taken Dan, his wife, and his in-laws no time at all to be enamored with Aiden again.
He was on his back now, on the blanket, where I ended up putting The Scribe again. Right after I set The Scribe back down, Aiden had apparently won another olympic feat.
"He smiled! He smiled, Mom and Dad. MY baby smiled." Jessica stood and clapped her hands twice--then glared at me.
"My baby can smile!" I said. And I got right in The Scribe's face and with my arms spread wide and my eyes big, I began gooing louder than anyhing you've ever heard.
My baby did not smile. My baby didn't even look remotely happy. No...my baby looked like she thought I was going to eat her. And then she started wailing.
Mountains shook! The waves, they rolled. And I wondered if that's how Pangaea first cracked--from the wail of a truly terrified baby....
We left after that, and Dan said he didn't want to be my friend any more.
I know I shouldn't have tried to compete with them--but would it have killed them to say my baby was cute too?!
The Scribe several years after this even.
I might not be the best person in the world, but at least I'm honest
Have a great day,