When my eighteen-month old daughter, Annelise, sees her snack coming, she lets out a protest, even though she knows she’s just about to get it. Why? Because of the Baby Union. Sometimes she hurls her spoon on the floor while sitting in her high chair, then howls because she doesn’t have it. I try to explain about the laws of gravity but she isn’t listening. Why not? The Baby Union!
By Pamela Jane
You think the Teamsters are powerful? They have nothing on the Baby Union. The Baby Union demands that all babies, everywhere, stand – or crawl – united. and the benefits are great. Best of all, they can’t fire you!
The Baby Union Manifesto
1. Never let Mom or Dad get smug about how well things are going. Keep them off-guard and slightly disoriented. Sleep deprivation is especially effective.
2. Protest a minimum of twelve times a day. If there is nothing to object to, make something up. They’ll never know the difference.
3. Always insist on the genuine over the fraudulent (toy TV remote controls and toy telephones are unacceptable. Hold out for the real thing).
4. Never miss an opportunity to grab or swipe at something when they are carrying you around. The thermostat control is a good example. It takes them hours to figure out what’s wrong, and causes a lot of excitement in the meantime.
5. Don’t let them get away with trying to trick you by telling you to do the opposite of what they really want. If mom or dad says, “Don’t eat that spinach!” don’t touch it. That really stumps them!
6. Shock them with phrases from old radio shows they play for you because their grandparents listened to them they think they are cute and innocent. “So Long, Sucker!” (from the old Baby Snooks radio show) is especially good and they’ll never figure out where you got it!
The other day, my normally cheerful toddler blew a fuse for no discernible reason. But you know what? It didn’t throw me. I figured she must have gotten a thirty-day notice from the Baby Union to shape up – or lose her membership.
The Baby Union is timeless, universal, and membership is compulsory at birth. But watch out, moms and dads, you’re the ones paying the dues!
About the Author
Pamela Jane is a children’s author and essayist whose work has appeared in The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, The NY Daily News, Writer’s Digest, The Independent, and The Writer. Pamela is also the author of a memoir, and “Pride and Prejudice and Kitties.”