Ger and I have started watching this reality TV show called “Supernanny.” Each week the titular nanny shows up, crisp British accent in hand, to give succor to troubled parents. The first quarter of the program is devoted to what horrible little monsters the children are and how the parents have tried nothin’ and are all out of ideas. The next part has the parents using new skills to cope with this living hell. Then in the third quarter they utterly screw it up again, and in each episode’s finale they get it right. Weepy hugs all around and tune in next week for another spin!
The way I see it, the last three quarters of the show are filler. All anybody really cares about is how horrible the children are, what incompetent boobs the parents are, and how we are not them. Just like how we’re smugly aware that we are not that cracked-out, incoherent, deadbeat that they wrestled to the ground midway through every episode of “Cops.” I just want to see that even though Sam throws her soybeans on the ground and keeps trying to bitch slap the cat, at least she’s not cussing out her mother or trying to attack other children with hammers. Next to these folks, we’re the parents of the freaking millennium.
To capitalize on this, I’m going to pitch a new television show where all the parents do yell at their kids, throw empty beer can after empty beer can in their direction, and generally accuse them of mediocrity and failure. The kids, of course, will not be without blame. They’ll talk back, set things on fire, and sometimes assault the UPS man in scenes that look like “Dennis the Menace” meets “Apocalypse Now.” Nothing will ever get resolved, nobody will ever learn anything, and people will LOVE IT.
Sorry, I’m not really talking about Samantha, am I? Let’s see, as I mentioned, Sam turned one year old last week. On the night of her birthday we gave her a few more gifts, including an ulcer and the common cold from GiantMicrobes.com. Nana and Grandpa also kicked in The Jesusmobile, a talking frog, and cold hard cash while Aunt Shawn and Uncle Brent sent the Land Rover of baby toys and Ger’s parents sent her a nice start on a savings account. And then on Thursday her pediatrician gave her a belated gift in the form of a tuberculosis skin test, which seemed to be the only one she didn’t like. Also, there was more cake and both sets of grandparents called to sing her “Happy Birthday” over the speaker phone, which actually kind of freaked her out.
One thing I’ve noticed over the last week is that Sam has become increasingly vocal. She points at things constantly and says “DAT? DAT?” as if saying “OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT? THAT’S AWESOME!” When she’s not pointing, she’s babbling to herself or to her stuffed animals. This morning she even responded to a direct question by me. Question: What sound does the cat make? Answer: Rawer-rawer-rawer-rawer! Well, close enough.
And now, pictures:
It’s a good thing that we take so many pictures ourselves, by the way. I’ve mentioned before how fate seems to conspire against us every time we try to get Sam’s picture taken at the Wal-Mart Portrait Studio. But to be fair, our troubles may also be due to it’s being the Wal-Mart Portrait Studio. You can buy a 15,000-pack of napkins for forty-three cents, but apparently they don’t hire the best and brightest. The first time we went we got a few decent pictures of Sam, but the talented technicians exposed them to light during the development process, which I’m sure is probably covered under Rule #1 of film development: DO NOT EXPOSE TO LIGHT. But Ger got a coupon for a whole pack of photos for like $4, so we went back. This time we got half a dozen great shots of a happy, smiling, and increasingly photogenic Samantha before the employees discovered that the film was jammed and none of them took. So we waited fifteen minutes while Zippy the Wonder Employee futzed with it and the subsequent appointments piled up. Eventually we took a few more shots, but by this time Sam was getting pissed and hungry, so they didn’t turn out as well no matter how much I waved her Ulcer around and gibbered like a moron. So we paid for our $4 portraits with a $5 bill and left before we realized that the gal never even gave us our change! We could have bought 30,000 napkins with that! Ugh.