Baby as an adjective

I, like most people, tend to use the word baby as an adjective when trying to demonstrate something’s diminutive nature.

For example, I might say, ‘These are some delicious baby carrots,’ while eating carrots that are smaller than normal carrots. (But I wouldn’t say that. Because I’m allergic to carrots. And baby carrots weird me out.) The same goes for anything that’s absurdly small – inanimate or animate. Baby ducks, baby mirrors, baby calendars, baby sticks of deodorant – it all means smaller versions of what one might expect.

Now that I have an actual baby, the word baby as an adjective is also very practical. For example, baby wipes are wipes used for the baby. Baby blankets are blankets used for the baby. And baby socks are socks used to hit the baby. No wait that’s not right. They’re socks for the baby. Likewise, baby hair is hair that belongs to the baby. Baby fingers are fingers that belong to the baby. And so on.

This is where things start to get confusing.

Are there any items that are both diminutive and used for or by the actual baby?

I assumed that I would find the answer to this question where one finds the answer to any philosophical question – in bodily functions.

Yes, you guessed correctly: baby farts.

Farts that come out of Baby E are definitely hers. Try as we might to blame each other or the dogs, she has already created her own distinctive brand. In that sense, the use of baby as an adjective is absolutely appropriate.

But in magnitude? Definitely not.

Baby E’s farts can only be described in words of enormous nature. Gargantuan, massive, world altering – these would all be appropriate. When a fart rips out of her butt, I have to pause for a moment to make sure that she hasn’t created a tear in the time-space continuum. The sound created by her rear end creates such massive waves that it has the capacity to change the flight path of any nearby insects. One of our dogs has actually removed himself from Baby E’s presence because of one of her farts, and he’s a dog, for crying out loud.

In short, I am having to re-think the way that I use the word baby as an adjective. Already, my daughter has got me reconsidering the English language, and she’s doing it with toots.

I couldn’t be more proud.


This girl is going places

We probably should have gotten the extended warranty with this baby.

Baby E is now a month old. Four weeks, three days, six hours, and a number of minutes I’m not prepared to calculate since I’m typing this one-handed so it will be extremely inaccurate, anyway, by the time I’m done.

She hasn’t really done a whole lot yet, but that’s okay. The baby books all jump from the milestone of ‘birth’ to the six week mark, so I guess that’s where all the developmental action starts.

What she has done a lot of – although I’m not sure she can take any of the credit – is travel.

At three days old, she made the trip home from the hospital – 100 kilometres. At one week, she joined her grandparents and me on a shopping expedition back to the big city – 200 km round trip. Nine days later, her other grandparents and I made the ill-fated decision to travel to Kapuskasing. That would have notched her another 250 km, but it didn’t quite work out.

Instead, my car – which had only ever given me trouble three weeks earlier, when I drove through a crater of a pothole and ended up replacing my tires – decided it’d had enough driving and gave up. We were briefly stranded near The Middle Of Nowhere, Ontario (it’s hard to find on a map, but let me assure you that it definitely actually exists and is located about 70 km west of Cochrane), and were eventually told by a strapping young tow truck operator that, essentially, the engine was done.

Not surprisingly for a nine-year-old car with almost 250,000 km on her, the repair would have cost more than she was worth.

I gave the car to the tow company for the cost of the tow and called a friend to come pick all four of us up, plus the embarrassing amount of stuff that had been accumulating in my car. Not the best of days, but it still got Baby E about 150 km, and it set her up for her biggest trip yet.

In order to replace the non-functioning car with a vehicle whose engine still worked, we took a trip Down South. That’s right: 1,000 km with a 17-day-old.

We stayed and visited with family and friends, making the 30-km round trip between grandparents’ houses daily, then returned to Cochrane on day 27. Another 1,000 km.

And when we got back, with a daring aunt and uncle, we finally completed that trip to Kapuskasing.

So no, this baby has not yet slept through the night. She hasn’t smiled or laughed. She did roll from her back to her stomach earlier this week, but she was on a couch and kind of used the incline of the butt groove in the seat to her advantage, so I’m not sure it counts. And she isn’t going to stand or crawl or communicate in any meaningful way for quite some time.

But hey, at least she’s about due for an oil change.