Sometimes I walk the baby in her stroller over to Gangy and Nana’s house for dinner. The other night as I was walking, we chanced upon four girls playing on the sidewalk. They ranged in age from perhaps five to eight years old, and looked enough alike to be sisters or cousins.
Young girls always want to check out the baby. Sure enough they surrounded us, peppering me with questions and scrutinizing Avery closely.
They were all tall and thin. Not abnormally thin. Just at the thin end of normal. But as I was talking to one, I glanced at Avery and became fixated on how much bigger Avery’s head seemed than this five year old girl’s.
This is the point of the story.
How huge my child’s head is.
It’s a relevant point because since her arrival in this world, her noggin has inspired lots of quoting of lines from So I Married an Axe Murderer along with other mirthful commentary.
“It’s like Sputnik!”
“It has its own weather system.”
“It’s like an orange on a toothpick.”
Usually pronounced with a Scottish accent.
So when I arrived at their house, knowing it would amuse them, I began to tell the grandparents how fixated I became on the size of Avery’s head in comparison to these girls.
“What were they talking to you about?” my dad interrupts to ask.
“Nothing. Nonsense. One of them asked me why I didn’t give her a drink.”
He’s interrupting my story. He always does this. He gets hung up on some totally irrelevant point and won’t let it go.
“What did you say?”
Oh my gosh, he actually wants to get into this.
“I said, ‘I did give her a drink.’ Then she said: ‘what about this?’ and pointed to the cup holder on the stroller. So I realized that the cup holder had piqued her interest, so I said ‘well I gave her a drink before we left so we didn’t need to bring anything with us.’”
“Did you explain to her about breast milk?”
“No! I didn’t explain to her about breast milk. They didn’t care! They just wanted to look at the baby and talk about her! One of them just happened to notice the cup holder. Breastfeeding wasn’t relevant to them and it’s not relevant to what I’m saying. This is about Avery’s head!”
This goes on for a few more minutes until my step mom interjects, in complete seriousness, that perhaps these girls’ parents wouldn’t have wanted a stranger explaining breastfeeding to them.
This makes me laugh (because, really?), but I’m also grateful she’s shut down my crazy father.
Or so I thought.
We eat dinner and afterwards he gives me, the baby, and the stroller a ride home. As he’s pushing the stroller in my door, his eyes like a five year old’s alight on the cup holder. His mind is drawn inexorably back to the pressing issue of the evening.
“I still can’t imagine why you didn’t explain to them that baby’s don’t drink water.”
Seriously. There was an emphasis on the word imagine.
“Dad! They never said water! The girl said ‘a drink.’ ‘Why didn’t you give her a drink?’ I don’t know where you’re getting this water thing.”
“Oh. I thought they said water.”
“Nope. She just said ‘a drink.’ And in fact, I had given Avery ‘a drink’ before we left. So you see? Everything I said was true and accurate. Okay?”
“Oh.” He pauses for a moment. “Okay. Goodnight. I love you.”
And off he goes into the night.