“The thing about dragons is….” So many of these stories in the last ten years have started it with this line. Just ask any of the children I have ever babysat. The gist of the story is always summed up in this line. The thing about dragons is they don’t like swimming. The thing about dragons is they like their naps. The thing about dragons is they have a sweet tooth. The thing about dragons is they exceed expectations. The thing about dragons is they never do what you expect. All center around a precocious young dragon named Prince Eric Dragon. Some of these stories, told to me by my good friend, Colette, are purely to make the smalls giggle while others are to encourage certain behavior. There’s even one or two to help through difficult experiences. But there has always been one story that I’ve never been able to tell involving Prince Eric Dragon and a baby human prince. I think I finally am ready to.
The thing about babies is they have never read the baby books. The thing about babies is they like long naps, except when they don’t want to nap. The thing about babies is they are supposed to begin smiling when they are around two months old, but some start when they are a few days old. The thing about babies is they like to be snuggled, and entertained, and fed all the time. They don’t like to be raised high like Peter Pan, until the next time you try. They like to pretend to be Superman, but only when they are in the mood. Sometimes they wake up crying but sometimes they wake up laughing. They wake up because they need something but sometimes they don’t need anything at all. They are always on their best, best behavior, except when they’re not. They save all their smiles for Daddy, and Abuelita, and Atilla, and even occasionally Mama. They like doing monkey see, monkey do. They abide by their rules long enough for you to learn them, and then they change ALL the rules to the game.
The thing about babies is that even when you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas in days, or showered in a week (and haven’t washed your hair in longer), your house is a mess, and you can barely manage to feed yourself, coffee and make-up are long forgotten luxuries except when someone extra comes along, household chores after barely covered, and the dog is barely acknowledged (but always fed), yet you still love that little baby. You love him enough to go out in public with your hair a mess in order to show him off. You drag him into Church where he acts like an angel until just after the sermon… Every time. He makes messes and belches loudly at the worst opportunity but you just think “he’s so cute”. And even on your worst days, you’re already planning out your next adventure and your next little one.
The thing about babies is they are just about perfect.