31 January 2011


This weekend, the Doozer had a playdate with a friend's kid, a boy less than a year older. They played relatively well together (or rather, mostly, just beside each other, truth be told), but one striking thing did occur.

The Doozer was not really . . . himself.

A great deal of time is spent here in this very blog, as well as through other social media, and sometimes by shouting from the rooftops, by my wife and I, describing how special and amazing the Doozer happens to be. Which he is. We know this because these are the types of things we hear about him from other people, not just as the products of our own warped, biased assessments.

And yet, when new faces appear on the scene, shyness kicks in and the Doozer becomes almost unrecognizable. Not that I can blame him exactly. Having suffered from bouts of crippling shyness throughout my youth and my adult life, I think I know where it might come from.

(Seriously, if one of my roommates had not walked my now wife right into our apartment and introduced us directly, I might never have worked up the nerve to even speak with her. My life might have followed a drastically different course and, if nothing else, this blog would probably be a lot more boring than it is—if it existed at all.)

At the same time, this routine is wearing thin and the Doozer is beginning to make us look bad. Like the boy who cried wolf, we're starting to look hopelessly out-of-touch, new parents who think their child is the greatest thing since sliced bread, completely unaware—or in denial—of the fact that in reality he's something of a dud.

Who is this shy, retiring wallflower exactly? I do not recognize you. What's with all the muttering and mumbling? What happened to the screeching and howling?

You weren't shy at that restaurant the other night when you called across the entire joint, in front of all the patrons, "Dada! Thank you for the delicious ice cream!" Nor were you reticent at the mall play area when you stood atop the slide, yelling to your mother at the top of your lungs, "Mama, what's your name?"

You know Doozer, you're only going to be this cute for so long. At a certain point, people are going to just stop caring. You've got to milk it for all it's worth right now. Share it. Spread it around.

We're not making this stuff up. I'm not embellishing for the sake of entertainment. (Well, only slightly.) No, the Doozer really is all these amazing things: chatterbox, smarty-pants, goofball, curious mind. So why doesn't he share this with the world? Why does it seem sometimes like he's just putting on a private show for the wife and me? It's like that old Looney Tunes cartoon with Michigan J. Frog where he only sings for the one guy and not the sold-out theater crowd.

Seriously, what is wrong with him?

You're really starting to make us look bad here, kid . . .

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