The Child Who Gnaws A Lot

For someone who can’t even chew, my six-month-old sure likes to gnaw. I think that’s why many baby toys and dog toys look identical; in fact, I bet if you put a baby toy in a lineup with five canine chew toys, the baby toy would get off scot-free. Toymakers are marketing to the same demographic, mainly mammals who drool a lot. 

Which is the baby toy?

Both sets of grandparents have asked for guidance on what to get Thomas for Christmas. That’s a good question: What do you get for someone who is perfectly happy gnawing on a cell-phone charger cord? Thankfully, I caught Thomas trying to electrocute himself before he ruined my cord (life lesson learned: never leave a conduit for electrons near a baby). But the question still stands, what do you get a six-month-old? 

I thought about getting him a copy of War and Peace. For one, that title more or less sums up the early experience of human baby–either peacefully sleeping or engaged in wailing warfare over food or the ruined state of a diaper. Second, that book has a lot of pages in it, and Thomas seems most content when stuffing crinkly paper in his mouth. Third, if he starts a Tolstoy book early, there’s a chance he may actually complete it and succeed where his father has failed. I once voiced a critique of Anna Karenina in casual conversation with an English professor (she was a real literary snob if you ask me). She rebuffed my criticism that the ending seemed a little cliche by snorting and pointing out that Anna, after eloping with Vronsky, did not live happily ever after and instead jumped in front of a train. How was I to know I had only read the first volume of Anna Karenina when it alone was over 500 pages?

Sometimes I just wish Thomas would stay the size he is now. His collicky days are over and he is so easy to please right now–just give him a chew toy and he’ll gnaw happily. I’ve also successfully taught him to roll over, which he can now perform for the amazement of onlookers. And, to add his repertoire of tricks, I’m currently teaching him to babble on command and to crawl to improve his fetching skills. 

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Thomas is currently living the pampered life of a modern house dog, which is pretty close to an ideal existence. There have been many times in my life when I’ve envied tail-wagging dogs who are easy to please and unburdened by the worries and stresses of human existence. Now, as a parent, I find myself worrying about what Thomas will worry about. I just want him to live happily ever after, and I can’t imagine him being much happier than he is now as a six-month-old content to gnaw on paper. 

The Child Who Gnaws A Lot

23 thoughts on “The Child Who Gnaws A Lot

  1. Nice looking young gent. I hope you are as proud of him as he is of you. He’s proud of us? you ask. Well, yes, why else would he hang around with you? Good post, young sir. We don’t ‘chat’ before then, you three have a wunnerful Christmas, gnawgnifts or not.

  2. Ha! The perils and strange responsibilities of parenthood. Don’t worry about your writing, brother. You’re an excellent and entertaining writer. Write what’s in front of you. Daily life. You’ll be fine. Keep it coming.

  3. Board books in high contrast colors with only a word or a few on each page.
    This message has been brought to you courtesy of a former children’s librarian. (That would be me.)
    I’m not a very good librarian obviously, or I would have finished “War and a Peace.” Or at least attempted it.

    1. I keep telling myself that one of these days I’m going to attempt it. I’ll probably have create a reading plan though.

      My wife is a librarian too, and she hasn’t it read it either, lol, so I don’t feel too bad. Have a great Christmas!

  4. Thomas is lovely! And will be in all stages I’m sure, except possibly 14-18years….. Merry Christmas to you all!

    1. Is it bad that I already cringe when I think of what’s to come when he’s a teenager. Think happy thoughts, I need to tell myself, lol.

      Have a great Christmas across the pond!

      1. It’s the 2-3 that’ll catch you unawares. Precious little cherub one moment, precocious little firebrand the next!

  5. I’ve often wondered about the gift-giving for youngsters at this age. Seems a box stuffed with crinkly paper would please him as much as anything else. Then you can save your pennies for all the years to come of adolescence when the desires take more pennies to fulfill. He’s a sweet looking one to be sure!

  6. If you do the reading, Tolstoy might be a fast favorite. Our weird little slobberers love Tolkien and Yeats- I attribute that to the fact that I started them early… Shoot- if I’m the one stuck reading, I’m gonna read something more substantial.

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