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Girl Power

Twin of the Week – Clementine: As a responsible parent of the 21st Century, I’ve been closely observing the girls for the purpose of tracking their developmental milestones. Within the first few months, Penny has been consistently outpacing Clemmy with regards to the major behavioral benchmarks. At nearly four-months old, they’re both able to raise their own head and chest when lying on their stomach. On the other hand, Penny has been consistently reaching, grasping, and swatting objects, while Clemmy seems to be completely disinterested in the outside world. She will occasionally make contact with objects within her reach, but it’s clearly unintentional. Lately, I’ve been deliberately guiding her hands toward various objects to demonstrate her capabilities, and stimulate her development.

“Daddy, will you please stop forcing me to hit things?!”

“Oh, you noticed?”

“Of course, I noticed! I’m laying around minding my own business — when suddenly I find my hand engaging in acts of violence.”

“Sweetie, you’re being a little melodramatic — I’m just trying to encourage you to develop some motor skills.”

“That’s obvious, daddy, but why now?

“You’re almost four months old!”

“Daddy, I thought you knew better — every baby develops at her own pace.”

“But you should be able to perform certain tasks by a certain age.”

“And what exactly should I be doing by now?”

“According to most developmental charts, you should be intentionally reaching for objects. Penny’s been smacking those birds for weeks!”

“You’re worried because Penny is busy hitting fake animals, and I’m not?”

Yes! You understand my concern don’t you, sweetie?”

“No, I don’t. I really don’t. Why on earth would I want to pulverize a fake bird? Did it threaten to hurt me?”

“No.”

“Did it threaten you or mommy?”

“No.”

“Are we going to eat the fake bird for dinner?”

“No, don’t be silly. It’s a primal urge that normally manifests during infancy.”

“Oh, that’s interesting. It’s normal to hit things for NO reason?”

“That’s where you’re wrong, sweetie. IT IS for a reason — It’s practice! You have to practice to develop eye-hand coordination.”

“I understand, daddy — but I have no control over my calorie intake — so I choose to conserve my energy.”

“That’s ridiculous, sweetie. Have you ever wanted for food?”

“I’m sorry, daddy. I’ve only known you and mommy for a few months. — You haven’t quite earned my full trust.”

“Trust or not… if you don’t practice, you’ll suffer major developmental delays.”

“Hmmm… according to Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Parents spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to sit down and shut up.”

“Oooh! Neil deGrasse Tyson, blessed be thy name! And how many children has this renowned astrophysicist raised?”

“Don’t fret, my worldly father. I know exactly what I’m doing. While Penny mindlessly attacks fake animals, I choose to exercise my mind — musing upon the mysteries of life.

“That’s all well and good, sweetie. But for now, your parents would rather see you exercising your limbs.”

“For what, daddy? Sports? I don’t plan on being a warrior — or excuse me, an athlete.”

“BUT you still need to develop proficient eye-hand coordination to function in this world.”

“Daddy, as far as I can tell, adults spend most of their waking hours staring at screens — I’m already proficient at that. The only time I see you utilizing your so called eye-hand coordination is when swatting house flies.”

“Geez, you’re stubborn — I wish your mother were here for this conversation. Let me give you the hard truth. As a woman, you will encounter more than your share of testosterone infused hostility in this world. The sooner you acquire motor skills, the sooner you’ll be able to start learning self-defense.”

“OMG, daddy — You’re still thinking in terms of biological evolution?! Wake the f**k up! We’re smack in the middle of the technological revolution. I won’t have to compete with men mano a mano. In just a few years I’ll have access to military-style exoskeletons — like Iron Man!”

“Well, color me stupid! I welcome this egalitarian utopia. And just how do you intend on funding this uber-luxury item?”

“I guess you haven’t been listening, daddy. Like I said, I’ve been thinking. I’ll gladly thump on those fake birds if that’s what you desire. What’s it worth to you?”

“Pfft! Is my own daughter bribing me?”

“Oh daddy, get off your high horse. Rewarding your children for good behavior is a perfectly legitimate parenting tactic.”

“Hmmm, it may be effective in the short-term, but I think it sets a bad precedent.”

“$1 per swat.”

“What?!”

“This isn’t a negotiation, daddy. You will give me $1 every time I swat those dumb birds.”

“But. But. What if your sister finds out?”

“Make it $2 per swat, and I’ll make sure she doesn’t.”

3 thoughts on “Girl Power

  1. Hilarious…..I just saw this one……

  2. Funny stuff. Is this a legitimate concern yet?

    1. Thanks. Not yet… but it’s hard not to compare with twins. And good news… Clemmy recently starting reaching for objects.

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