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Swiss Army Baby

We noticed one of our cats would subtly change the way his face would look just before he was about to do something crazy. By crazy I mean losing control of his teeth, claws and sometimes tail. He has this tendency to forget he has a tail, get surprised by it flopping around and attack it. We would call this new face of his, "kitten face" as he would seem to revert to a younger stage of life. This involves sticking his nose out and widening his eyes but he would seem like a whole new cat. It seems the baby has learned from the cat and has decided that when it comes to being a baby, it's best to be eight babies. No, that isn't a problem in translation software. Most of the day there is a default baby, a neutral baby gently soaking up his environment into his computer brain, but at times other babies come out to be witnessed. For educational purposes, here is a guide of the many babies that inhabit a single little guy.

This is his normal cat face, although he is sticking out his nose to sniff the phone.

1. Angelic Sleeping Baby

This baby is so relaxed that it not only looks like a very different baby than all others, but it has the special power of erasing the memories of parents. Eyelashes seem to grow longer as they cascade down the baby's cheeks. Angel Sleeping Baby just wants to cuddle, but do not be fooled, if you disrupt this baby it will morph into another, more awake, more angry baby. At times this baby will forget that it is sleeping and momentarily open its eyes. Do not panic, if you let it be, it will blink itself back to its angelic state.

2. Confused Awakening

Often, the Angelic Sleeping Baby will suddenly raise its head into being awake. Very often this baby has been moved into different positions in different locations and in this transition from deep dreaming to a suddenly awake state. These changes to a baby's computer brain appear to feel like a glitch in the system and they need to restore their understanding of their surroundings. During the Confused Awakening the baby will give a confused, sleepy puffy, wide eyed look while jerking his head back and forth like an old dot matrix printer. This baby will hold its head up high and cover as much space in its line of vision to scan its surroundings as though they are an Empire drone on Hoth looking for Luke Skywalker. Luke better watch out, if this baby finds him he will try to latch onto his face with his slobber mouth and attempt to suck the life out of him. Fortunately for the Rebellion, the Confused Awakening only lasts between five and ten seconds before wearing off and needing a diaper change or feeding.

3. Play Guy

This is the most fun baby. Play Guy's eyes will be wide open, mouth either smiling or sticking out its tongue. This baby will present itself while laying on its back, pumping legs and making breathy vocalizations. Play Guy wants to run and it will start by moving all of its limbs. It's best to move this baby to the jumper or manually bounced by dad, who is using this as an opportunity to work the weights fifteen pounds at a time. When dad bounces him, he is less likely to resort to dinosaur screeches, perhaps as they are used as an ear piercing invitation to playmates to join the Play Guy frenzy. Always remember that Play Guy loves music.

4. Danny Torrance

For a while when leaving the apartment in the stroller, Danny Torrance would look back at me waiting to whisper his first word of "redrum." This Danny Torrance is not terrified it is using every square milometer of eyeball to absorb the outside world that it can. There is an uncertainty in Danny Torrance, but with practice, Danny Torrance can be an endangered species growing strong and confident to later become excited to go out in the world, possibly to the store, to Target, or even to the Zoo. When this excitement comes, Danny Torrance changes into Play guy at the thought of experiencing the world.

Danny Torrance

5. Startle Baby

Only the unexpected can bring upon this baby. It will go from any kind of baby, Play Guy, Confused Awakening, Danny Torrance or just neutral baby, to wide eyed, mouth in a small "O" and reflexively spreading its arms and splaying its fingers. Startle baby can either transition into a sour faced cry or start laughing as it transitions into a laughing fit, bringing on an appearance by Play Guy. There is no telling what will come after Startle Baby for a couple of moments as the computer brain is deciding.

6. Sour Face

When something upsets this baby, it does not spontaneously erupt into crying. It takes a moment to build up the energy to cray, howl, screech, but it wants to give a little warning that it needs to be picked up and cuddled. It can be precarious for a dad to get too confident clipping toenails and there can be a little uncertainty of whether a baby is in discomfort or not. That mystery is solved when this baby scrunches its face, goes full upside-down smile and starts with a low moan. A dad's early response would be to say "no, no, no, no, no!" and pick up the Sour Face to cuddle close to his body while gently bouncing. There is no going back from the warning that the Sour Face is giving a dad, this will crescendo into a full siren of baby cries that cancel out all other sounds in the world. Don't panic. The Sour Face will stop crying eventually and before you know it will be Play Guy again.

7. Baby Hulk

When a baby wants something or is desperate to communicate an issue before they have the ability to open their mouth and say "father, please unbutton me and wipe the feces that has leaked out of my diaper off of my back," this baby may flex all of his muscles, let out an extended grunt and turn red. This is not the most extended version of baby as it will turn back to a Bruce Banner Baby soon after a mom or dad can exclaim "he's hulking out!" Babies don't appreciate if moms and dads laugh while they hulk out.

8. Serene Kitty

When a baby gets to the ripe old age of five months old, they are starting to notice the wildlife in their environment. It starts with the tails of cats that swing by at baby eye level whether the young one is sitting in a swing, bouncer, or laying on its back on the floor. Cats are interested but not intrusive of a baby, protective without presenting themselves to a baby. When sitting a baby next to a cat, the cat will act disaffected and with a completely relaxed and loving face the baby will reach out as if to bless the kitty, then take a handful of fuzzy fur and hold on without pulling. The cat will stay. The cat understands that the baby is doing everything it can to hold it together and not freak out and blurt out the first words "holy shit this cat is soft!" That time will come.

Pete Talbot, Summer 1983

The Family Baby

It's a weird trick of evolution when a baby comes out looking exactly like the father did at that age. Does the father love the child because it is their adorable offspring or because they are a narcissist who wants to stare at a 50% clone of himself and a 50% clone of the woman they love? Perhaps the real mystery is why a man would love their cats? They don't look like the man, so they must just love little cute soft things, as all true men do. As my little guy has tripled in size at a rate reserved for radioactive monsters he has smoothed off his baby wrinkles yet his hair is still rather wispy. His ears appear to stick out on his little head at this age so that he kind of looks like a tiny version of my quite bald grandfather who used to have a pillow that read "God made only so many perfect heads, the rest he covered with hair." There is a resemblance not just with dad (which is quite striking, the one difference seems to be the dimples on its nose shared with mom) but with cousins at the same age. There is a family resemblance that is most strong when comparing the same age and the especially old and bald relatives. It is certain that when a baby is rather laid back and loves cuddles that their personality as a baby is not passed down from their dad who, as a baby, was known to scream for hours unless he was held at arms length. Apparently, when I was a baby I was just one baby: a crying one.

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