Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Actually, every baby cries differently

Tuesday morning at the doctor's office. All the babies are crying except mine, but that's only because she just peed on the scale. A good pee always mellows her out. She's going to be so mad at me in eight years for writing this.

Before I had one of my own, or rather before I became owned by one, sure, babies all looked and sounded the same. Right up to the day before she was born I worried I wouldn't be able to tell my baby apart from others. I shouldna worried. My baby's got personality. Like the way she pees whenever she's weighed.

These other babies in the waiting room, they're screaming. There's one in an Edmonton Oilers sleeper with a nasal cry, and another one, a tiny little baby with no hair, who gasps between sobs. My gal, though, she's calm and smiling. She gives me a funny look when one of the other baby screams. Like, "What's her problem?"

It's Tuesday night. We're out walking, because that calms her down. And what calms her down, calms me down. We eventually find our way to the late night bookstore, because it's either that or the late night grocery store, and I'm sick of browsing broccoli. We slowly pass through the children's section. I've got my eye on some Mercer Meyer, but we're still working on Hands, Hands, Finger, Thumb. I can't wait to find out how that ends. I kinda think the toes did it. But then, I always think the worst of toes, and that's not really fair to them. Toes are useful. Well, most of them are. Pinky toes? Overrated.

Eventually, we end up at the magazine racks, and the current events section is a sea of Obama, even the Canadian mags are all repping Barack. Like, even Canadian Needlepoint & Cross-Stitching Quarterly has a crocheted "Hope" cover. I mean, come on. But then something catches my eye. A portrait of a fellow with decidedly less charisma, with decidedly less star power. The Walrus has a cover feature on Stephen Harper. It's an excellent, if not exactly revelatory, piece with no new information in it, but it's nice to see the Walrus making an effort to stand out. Too often in the past, it has felt like just a poor cousin to Harper's or the New Yorker. Canadian mags have never had an easy go, remember the long, slow deaths of Saturday Night? Or Toro? And those both bit the dust before the Internet killed print dead.

But I still like the magazines. I like flopping down on the couch and reading about Scrabble freaks or video games I'll never play. I like that a magazine is bigger than my hands, but lighter than a cup of coffee. I prefer flipping pages to scrolling, and I really, really like rolling up a mag and sticking it my back pocket for later. And I love newspapers. Especially broadsheets. Especially local papers. Good local papers. I love reading about city councils and development plans. I like following provincial legislatures and reading local columnists who write about local issues. And I hate the recent redesign of the CanWest papers' websites. I like to think of it as Print's revenge. Its navigatability is cumbersome and counter-intuitive. It hides the local content, which is the reason I go to specific papers' sites, rather than just skim Google News. For all the Kumbaya glory of the electronic global village, local interest sure gets short shrift on the Web.

But newspapers and magazines don't calm my baby down. Not yet, at least. For now, the only medium she's at all interested in is music (well, she likes light too, which includes that of the television). Her mom plays her Patsy Cline, Nina Simone and Dinah Washington albums during the daytime, y'know, the classy stuff. At night, and on my days off, I've been testing stuff from my collection out on her. So far she has liked, or at least not screamed through, "Shiver" by Giant Sand and "Blue Rol" by Roland Kirk.

The one song she unquestionably likes, as in she calms down to and smiles at, is "Stealin, Stealin'" a 1928 recording by the Memphis Jug Band. I think it's the kazoo she likes best. I'm hesitant to get her attached to my other favourite Memphis Jug Band song, for fear that she'll learn the words and repeat them in polite company. Cuz I don't wanna field that call from her eventual pre-school.

mp3: "Stealin', Stealin'" by the Memphis Jug Band
mp3: "Every Baby Cries the Same" by Make-Up

No comments: