Thursday, July 7th, 2011
How does a thirty year-old man carry on a conversation with his seven month-old son? “So Jack, tell me about your day. What did you have for lunch, son?” Or I could say traditional fatherly phrases that make me think of TV sitcom dads from the 1960’s, like, “How’s my little man? Give your Pop a kiss on the cheek.”
Sorry, that’s just not my style. Without realizing it, since Jack was a newborn, I have been creating bit routines with Jack to communicate with him. I wasn’t aware of these ongoing conversations based on fictional characters I had made up until weeks after continuing to do them.
Here are a few examples:
“Are you Baby Sanchez?” This phrase is spoken in the same tone as the Boost Mobile’s “Is That the Talking Dog?” commercial. The assumed plot line here is that Jack is being mistaken for a distant Mexican cousin. Yesterday when I called my wife on my lunch break she suggested that I “do the Baby Sanchez” thing so check could hear it. Sure enough, he smiled right away and laughed. Maybe he really is Baby Sanchez.
“Hello son-n-n-n-n-n-n-n… You are my son-n-n-n-n-n…” In this bit, I pretend to be a wise, old, bearded man sitting at the top of mountain. Assuming Jack journeyed quite a ways to reach me, I get right to the point and announce to him that I am his father. It’s similar to the concept behind Darth Vader’s “Luke, I am your father.” But the voice I use is similar to Splinter in the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. When I say the catch phrase, I get right in Jack’s face and press my lips on his cheek, in an effort to gain some sort of response. Usually, all I get is, “Errrghhmmrrr…”
“…For babies. Babies like (name relevant conversation topic) too, ya know…” This one comes into play the most when I come home from work and hold Jack while my wife prepares dinner. If she says, “We’re almost out of Ricotta cheese.” Then I reply, evidently speaking from the perspective of Jack, “Ricotta cheese for babies. Babies like Ricotta cheese too, ya know.” This helps me empathize with my son’s feelings and perspective on life.
“Ya wanna give ya Daddy-Waddy a kissy-wissy on da wippy-wippy-wippies?” This translates into English as “Do you want to give your Daddy a kiss on the lips?” I pucker up my lips as big as I can and start zooming in towards his face, until I ultimately slightly turn away and kiss him on the cheek instead. I love annoying my son in the name of entertainment.
It’s my norm to accidentally create these goofy characters for Jack and then reuse them on a daily basis. As Jack learns to actually communicate back to me with legitimate words, he can start getting to know the real me. Until then, I’m about as real as Roger Rabbit.
The picture of Jack at the top of this post made me think of the album cover for The New Radicals’ only album, Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too. They were that one hit wonder band that did the 1999 song, “You Get What You Give.” Some of the song’s most memorable lyrics were at the closing: