Monday, October 23, 2006

The Lion, The Witch, and The Doorway

Since we’ve only got one and don’t have any (current) plans for another, I’m always afraid if we don’t socialize him enough, the baby will turn out weird. You know. He won’t be good around other kids, won’t know how to share, etc., if we just keep him all to ourselves and his other adult relatives as he gets older. So I stuck the baby in an adorable lion costume and we happily went off to a baby Halloween party this weekend (and by “happily” I mean “screamingly” because he had missed some nap time that day).

Once we arrived, the screaming stopped because of all the other fun things to do there. You know, like see other babies, poop your pants and crawl around on someone else’s bed with a naked butt because you think diaper changing is a game, and try to drink Mommy’s “witches brew” (and by “drink” I mean “stick your grubby little fingers inside the cup to touch the floating sherbet”).

Since the idea of the baby sucking on paintbrushes and pumpkins didn’t sound that appealing, we forwent the pumpkin painting and instead busied ourselves with a toy doorway. Yes, that’s really what I mean. It was like the front of a house, and had a door that opened, and you could go through to the “inside” of the house. There were all kinds of cool lights and sounds too. An almost-nine-month-old’s dream. So there was my little lion, playing away, looking so cute. From his own baby cuteness, because we had to lose the actual lion costume five minutes into the party because of heat issues. So he was a lion in spirit. The little girl whose party and doorway it was played with him for awhile, and much to my delight, he didn’t try to injure her in any way. Just as I was beginning to think there’d be no problems on the playground for us, a witch happened by.

She proceeded to bash the lion’s head with the door and close it into the doorway.

He was unfazed. All those falls off the bed were good for toughening up the old coconut, it would appear. It’s not like an 18 month old can slam a hollow plastic door that hard, but I held onto it to prevent the baby from looking like the found-out rat in a gangster movie. When the witch realized she could no longer bean his little angelic head, she changed her tactic from brut violence to psychological torture-stealing his plaything.

It happened to be my keys. You’ve never seen a baby happier than the baby with my keys in his mouth. Sure, they may be germy, but they occupy him long enough to let me fold some laundry. The keys had fallen out of my purse, and he found them, of course, his favorite toy. Apparently the witch wanted to share. And by “share,” I mean, yes, you know, “take.” They had quite a tug of war going for awhile until that little witch finally got the better of him. She does have nine months on him, after all. She got the keys then proceeded to dangle them tantalizingly above his head.

My mother lion instincts almost got the better of me, but I really wanted to let it play out parent free, so I didn’t do anything. The baby seemed to care less than me, though. He just turned around and started playing with something else. Oh, peaceful lion.

“I think these are yours,” the witch’s dad said proudly. He held up they keys he’d retrieved from his hastily retreating daughter who was on her way to find weaker prey. Thanks, Dad, way to be on top of things when your kid was SLAMMING MY KID'S HEAD IN A DOOR.

What I learned from the Halloween party: the baby’s tougher than he looks, and putting spider rings in the “witches brew” makes for fun drinking and party favors.


At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Man, "witch" is right. I don't deal well with other kids who are intentionally mean. Not sharing is one thing. Trying to squash a baby in door? Shades of serial killer.


At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Betti said...

I commend your decision to let the babies duke it out themselves - under a watchful eye, that is. I've been impressed and amazed with my nephews when they are told "well, work it out" after one decides to talltle on the other.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger braiding mommy said...

A strong mom you are to let baby's head be bashed without swooping in like a crazy woman. I am sure he will grow up to be as perfectly socialized as any mother could hope.


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