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I Wasn't Born Yesterday
“Aren’t you the cutest baby ever?”
"Yeah yeah, I know. That’s not the first time someone has asked me that. It’s like they expect me to answer back. Come on, I’m only 15 months old. Give me a break.
"I don’t get it. All the adults adore me, even though all I basically do is eat, sleep, play, cry, and occasionally laugh. But I guess it’s not all that bad. I can just sit back and let people hold me and cuddle with me daily, and they love it! It’s a win-win situation."
Benny’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the ring of a cell phone. He sat up in his high-chair waiting for his mom to feed him. She began talking to his dad on her cell phone.
"I hear the adults talk to each other all the time and I long to join in their conversations. The problem is… I simply cannot talk. I’ve managed to say a few words like “mama” and “dada”, but they’re of no use. The first time I said those words I swear my parent’s each almost had a heart attack. They literally jumped about 5 feet with excitement and started clapping and cheering like crazy. I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation.
"Everyone loves it when I laugh. It’s probably because they don’t know that I’m actually laughing at all the peculiar things they do, especially those weird noises and faces they make. Have you ever seen someone play Peek-a-boo? It just makes me laugh uncontrollably. It’s hilarious how they try hiding behind their hands when I obviously know they’re there. Then they open their hands and dramatically say “Boo!” It’s hysterical."
As he waited, Benny spied his dad’s keys glimmering in the light on the table. He had a sudden urge to reach for them but they were too far away.
"Sometimes I try grabbing my parent’s toys just out of curiosity. Occasionally, my mommy will forget that she left her cell phone on the table next to my high-chair. When she’s not looking, I’ll quick snatch it to play with it. I’ve found that if I press enough buttons on it, it will start talking to me. Isn’t that astounding? By then my mommy will notice and take it away from me. I wish I had a toy like that."
He looked toward the kitchen and spotted the cookie jar on top of the refrigerator. His taste buds tingled. He suddenly realized how hungry he was and began to whine and cry.
"When I’m hungry, I cry. When I’m tired, I cry. When I don’t get my way, I cry. Most of the time I cry just because I like being the center of attention. Even though crying usually gets me what I want, it has its disadvantages. It usually puts me and my parents in an awful mood. I think I’ll to lay off the crying for a little bit. Then maybe I will earn myself a cookie."
Benny’s mom finally came back with a juice bottle and some chopped up food. She set her cell phone on the table and gave him his dinner. He immediately picked the food up with his fingers and threw it on the ground.
"Playing with my food is a fascination of mine. I enjoy watching it fall and hit the floor, and then repeating it, over and over again. But my mom gets especially irritated when I do that. "
Benny’s mom told him not to play with his food and bent over and wiped it up. Benny thought of the cookie jar and immediately ate the rest of his dinner quietly.
His mom was delighted with his politeness and obedience and complimented his remarkable table manners. He forced himself to say the word “Cookie!” and she was thrilled with his new word. To add to the effect, he laughed in what he thought was the most adorable way possible. With this, she went off into the kitchen and Benny knew she was getting him a cookie. He thought to himself, "works every time."
As he waited, Benny noticed his mom’s cell phone on the table.
"Out of habit, I reach over and grab her toy off the table. I know I’m not supposed to but I can’t help myself; the screen is so shiny and appealing. But then I hear her heading back from the kitchen. I quickly chuck the toy onto the floor, and the screen shatters. Oh no… My mommy has seen what I had done and is very upset. I feel ashamed. And the worst part is… I’m not getting a cookie."
Two months later, Benny still remembers his experience.
"I look back on this memory and say to myself, “Man, what was I thinking?” I still can’t get over how immature I was back then. I’ve finally realized that it’s time to grow up and become a big kid. Meanwhile, my parents have moved on from Peek-a-boo. They have developed a new technique involving pointless and silly stories called fairy tales. Are they insulting my intelligence? After all, I wasn’t born yesterday."