Monday, November 3, 2014


        There is a monster in my house. I'm not speaking metaphorically, here. I am absolutely serious. I am talking about a real monster like Frankenstein or the Wolfman. Although it has terrorized my domicile for some time now, I came to be aware of its true nature only recently, for it is endowed with the ultimate camouflage, the uncanny ability to appear to be what it is not. For many months now I have made the mistake of taking this "changeling" at face value, accepting it for what it seems to be, what it pretends to be, rather than what it truly is. In outward appearance it resembles nothing more frightening than a small, harmless, even affectionate child; a cherubic ten month old that answers to the name of "Kiley". This, however, is merely a façade, a disguise adopted to lull the unwary into a false sense of security, and pave the way for the beast within to emerge. And emerge, it does. Like Larry Talbot in the light of the full moon, like doctor Jekyll after drinking the potion, like a Magwai after a good hosing down, my seemingly angelic charge has the ability to transform from an innocent and harmless babe in arms into the ultimate in horrifying fussiness – "Crankenstein".

Don't let the cute little smile fool you...

Everyone has a bad day now and then. We all get moody, cranky, depressed, what have you. When we adults are faced with a bad day, no matter what the cause, we just have to cope with it. Unfortunately babies aren't good at coping. That's something that has to be learned, it's a matter of self-control and comes only through experience.  Babies, because they are what they are, lack self-control and coping skills. And so, when baby has a bad day everyone in the vicinity has a bad day.

If there is one thing that babies know how to do, it's how to have a bad day. Teething, diaper rash, vaccinations, colds, or any number of other unpleasantries can send the best of babies into the depths of despair and they are all too happy to drag you down there with them. This can be very unsettling, because babies can be so great. Kiley can be as sweet as Tupelo honey. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, happy, affectionate, easy to please and eager to please, a joy to have around. But when she has a bad day, look out! And there is no in between. She can be absolutely hot and cold, pleasant as can be one day and a first class ditch witch the next; agreeable as can be in the morning and impossible in the afternoon, or vice versa; and all without warning.

        So when "Crankenstein " emerges there is really very little that can be done. Oh, I do my best to lighten her mood and keep her happy – you know, the usual, I play with her, read to her, keep her occupied as best I can, but it's all like holding a cross in front of Dracula. It keeps the monster at bay but doesn't change its nature. Fortunately, Magwais eventually dry out, and the moon can't be full all the time, so the best strategy for battling "Crankenstain"' is to keep her occupied as much as possible and wait for the monster to recede. Still, there are times when the only effective strategy for controlling "Crankenstein" is to rouse the local villagers into a torch-carrying mob and drive the beast back into its lair. I'm sure that's what they mean when they say, "It takes a village to raise a child."



  1. It is just a phase, she will grow out of it in about 22 years.

    1. I hope you're right, but I have my doubts. I have a 40 year old who can be the same way. It's genetic. Nan