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Baby’s 18-month review

March 4, 2012
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE ( , Times-Republican

Miss Van De Walle,

You've now been with this company - you could call us a family - for 18 months, which gives us a healthy sample size to judge your performance. Below is our review of your performance to date.

Following directions

It has been documented - on numerous occasions - that when asked to do something (or stop doing something), you will not only refuse, but also simultaneously begin crying while placing your forehead on the floor in a pose those of us around the office have come to call "Sad Yoga Lady." While this act is admittedly hilarious, this isn't like that ragtag "do-anything-you-darn-well-please" uterus you were at before. Rolling into a give-up sadness ball does not give you a free pass in this organization.

On a personal note, I've attempted "Sad Yoga Lady" after my wife comes home with romantic comedies starring Channing Tatum. If I'm forced to suffer through two hours of this meat pole's "acting" you can certainly pick up a fuzzy monkey and put him back in the stupid basket. I'd ask to switch you tasks, but I want you growing up thinking men have voice inflection, emotions and facial expressions other than duck-lipped smolder.


Thankfully, this is an area in which we've seen drastic improvement in the last six months. It was becoming increasingly alarming when you continued your best impression of a beached manatee. However, since finally evolving into a bipedal human you seem to think you can go anywhere your wobbly legs carry you. Let me clarify: you do not have the required security clearance to go to the basement and hang out in the utility/cat room.

I have often pictured you disappearing following a longer-than-normal eye blink and emerging from the litter box covered in cat droppings and failure. Thanks to your snooping we have turned into Scooby-Doo villains in our attempts to protect our valuables from your persistent meddling. Accounting has been notified and these funds will be taken out of your allowance.

Furthermore, as often as you want to hang out in the bathroom we're starting to suspect you have a drug problem. Expect a visit from human resources. Judging by previous experience you'll have no trouble producing a urine sample.

Food consumption

You fail across the board.

1. Requests - Your desperate pleas for food are less like that of a polite child and more like that of a starving refugee seeing a human for the first time after months at sea. An unkeen observer would conclude that you were forced into some new-age anger diet where you're fed tree bark once every 16 hours and certainly hadn't just stuffed four banana cookies down your gullet.

2. Acquiring food from a container - I see you subscribe to the Swedish Chef method of food acquisition, meaning as uncoordinated as possible with the possibility of a chicken being tossed into the air even though you weren't served chicken. I've seen hyenas with better table manners.

3. Coordination - Just look at your face at any given time. I swear I could catapult sauce-soaked ravioli at your head from across the street and have a higher percentage of them land in your mouth.

Recommendation for improvement - feed bag.

Creativity and Innovation

While we are pleased with your willingness to do anything asked of you, we grow concerned that you are not actually listening to the requests. Below are documented statements you disturbingly said, "yes" to in the last week:

"Do you want to go with daddy to build another planet?"

"Should we practice throwing flaming razors to each other over a pit of kittens?"

"Are the Star Wars prequels as good as the rest of the series?"

"Come on, let's go pick cranberries."

"Do you know how to operate a backhoe?"

"I may or may not have just lost you in a game of cards. But you're cool with that, right?"

"Your mother just hit a deer before she had a chance to go to the grocery store. She's fine, but the deer isn't. We're all starving. You know what to do, right?"


No longer do we hear what can only be described as the warning cry of a pterodactyl goat chicken whenever you're unhappy or require something ohmygodrightthissecond!. They now resemble a chupacabra giving birth, which is a soothing jazz ballet by comparison. We've brought in several translators, but we're still unable to decipher what "dupa-dupa-dupa-dupa" means so you can stop saying it slower and louder to us. That only works if you're speaking English to someone of Hispanic heritage.

However after your nighttime bath as you're clutching to my chest and I ask you if you like being my baby and you sigh and tiredly say "yeeeeaaah" it kinda makes everything else irrelevant.


So, you're probably wondering if you're you doing a good job?

To use your word, "yeeeeeaaaah."


Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via gigantic human chain game of "telephone." Be sure to speak clearly.



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