Sunday night we took the Nut out to dinner at Aldo’s. Apparently, every parent of a child under eighteen months said “Fuck it” and packed up the car to go out that night, because the normally pleasant and quiet downtown was packed with strollers and diaper bags. (I do not recommend the salmon with DIJON-MINT sauce, it is not a pleasant or even necessary combination of tastes. I also recommend, if you’re taking a one-year-old out to dinner, to bring a banana or some Veggie Booty to keep them quiet because they’ll hate whatever you order them from the children’s menu and you’ll spend the rest of your meal either dining alone or standing out on the sidewalk with a fussy baby while your spouse finishes all the wine.)
Anyway, one of the waiters also has a one-year-old child, a girl, who, he says, has a vocabulary of forty-two words. For those of you who aren’t up on the developmental milestones, forty-two words at one year is somewhat FREAKISH. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve been working with the Nut for five months trying to get him to learn sign language, which was supposed to give him a sign-language vocabulary of fantastic breadth by the time he turned one, and the only thing close to a sign he ever does is dig wax out of his ear. Not that my child is in any way developmentally disadvantaged — OH, NO — and not that I’m jealous of the waiter/bartender’s little genius, or that she’ll have all sorts of emotional problems because in six months she’ll be crawling out of her crib to go sell crack out of her diaper down on Haley Street for dictionary money — OH, NO. I’m saying that forty-two words at one year is somewhat freakish simply because the waiter/bartender seemed to take A LITTLE TOO MUCH PRIDE in his language prodigy, and people who are not appropriately humble about gifts they could have had no control over bestowing on their children get a fat kick in the nuts from the rest of us non-prodigy-producers.