So, I’m preparing lunch in the kitchen and from out of nowhere, I hear Indy calling out from behind the couch on his playmat, pointing to a picture of a mother duck and her ducklings and going, “Gwark, gwark, gwark,” (his equivalent of ‘quack, quack, quack’). I’m totally gobsmacked. Repeatedly, over and over again, “Gwark, gwark, gwark…gwark, gwark, gwark.” So, I fire back at him, “Gwark, gwark, gwark”, and he echoes back at me, “Gwark, gwark, gwark”.
Our first official conversation, even if it was in Gwark. That is until…I pick up the video camera to film it. Then it’s like it never happened. Like Robert DeNiro in the end of Awakenings, he slips back into his non-communicative state. The same glazed over look you see when someone describes the concept of Celebrity Splash or when journalists ask Tony Abbott anything about politics. Why is it only me that sees these things?
It’s like Sesame Street when I was a kid and Big Bird had an imaginary friend that nobody else could see, his shaggy elephant buddy, Mr Snuffleupagus. The thing about ‘Snuffy’ was that he actually was real but was always gone before anyone else could see him. And that’s how I feel. I’m Big Bird and whenever I try to show someone something cool that Indy does, he pulls a ‘Snuffy’, and I’m left hangin’ like I’m making it all up.
Like the time he stood on his own for three seconds, the way he claps hands on demand, points out the octopus from the turtle or assembles IKEA furniture without instructions. All these skills are cunningly tucked away when a camera comes out, Mumma comes home or anyone on the planet suddenly materialises into our home beside me in the blink of an eye. No more structural engineering or solving complicated algorithms for him, it’s back to blowing raspberries and watching snot bubbles expand and contract in his left nostril.
And when he does do those things, it’s usually when you don’t want him too. Like standing up on the change table while you’re trying to change his nappy, clap his hands while eating and knock the spoon clean out of your hands and send food flying, assemble the same IKEA cabinet in 6 minutes that took you 40 minutes to get out of the box.
Is it all just a ruse to make daddy look crazy or am I just seeing things that aren’t really there? After watching Yo Gabba Gabba this morning, I’m not altogether convinced I’m not hallucinating. And if that particular kids TV show actually made sense to me, then I would definitely rate my sanity in the ‘high risk’ category.
Perhaps infra-red game cameras fitted around the house with motion detectors are in order to capture on film, live footage of our elusive ‘Bigfoot’, and prove once and for all that the amazing creature I speak of, actually exists.
It’s a slippery slope I’m navigating (my sanity), but for now, I must become like the illusory trap-door spider and lie quietly in wait with my finger poised precariously on the record button, ready to spring my trap at the first sign of ‘amazingness’.
Until then, “be vewy, vewy quiet…it’s kid-skills hunting season. Ah-hahahaaaa”.