Well into my 44th spin around the sun, I’m more than accepting of the fact my coolest years are somewhat far behind me.
My handle on contemporary slang is tenuous at best, and I can barely stay awake past 10:30 p.m. Just this morning I got excited when my favourite history podcast released a new episode.
Despite my acknowledgement of all this, I was still caught off guard when I found myself coo-ing and gurgling at my three-month old son in public this weekend.
It’s one thing to no longer be “with it” but was my display veering embarrassingly into uncool territory?
Up until recently, most of my interactions with the little tyke have been in the comfort of my own home, where I’m more than comfortable acting like a buffoon/clown to amuse him.
Off the top of my head last week, I came up with a chorus and a verse of a song with the working title You’re a Goose.
Attempts to keep catastrophic meltdowns at bay have resulted in many such nonsensical songs being sung, a slew of twisted faces being made, and the previously disdained baby talk being used.
I can intellectualize the infantile way I’m speaking by saying it’s going to aid in my child’s communication development in years to come, but that isn’t really why I’m doing it.
Like parents of many species, I’ve just been trying to establish a line of communication with my child, and for human babies babble seems to work best.
A trick befitting a bonobo has been useful. I’m able to hold his attention, and elicit a smile if I purse my lips and blow. I coo, he coos back, and my life is wail free for a treasured moment.
That ape-ish behaviour might have turned a few heads on a park walk which had gone on a little too long for my son’s liking. I started to feel foolish.
More foolish than usual even.
But continue to coo I did, and in the end the baby talk – and a quick baby snack – bought my wife and I enough time to get home.
More heads are bound to get turned in the numerous months of language and expression exploration ahead of me, and after giving it some thought, I’m cool with it.