Having just hit the 6 month mark, Frankie is becoming ever more the character. Numerous people have commented that she’s ‘the happiest baby they’ve ever seen’, which I can’t exactly vouch for as my experience with babies is limited, but compared to some stories I’ve heard from other parents, it’s safe to say we’ve lucked out. Or maybe we’re just totally rad parents to the max.
Her face wears a permanent cheeky grin. Like a beaming lighthouse beckoning for attention from every angle. Onlookers drawn like moths to a flickering flame of inescapable cuteness. If the world ran on smiles, she’d be the next target for an American invasion.
Recently, my wife took the Frankfurter to Perth for a wedding. Yes, she went flying with a baby. Again. What a jetsetter that kid is. I haven’t even been to Perth, and I’m 31. My wife was a bridesmaid, so on the night of the wedding a babysitter was organised to accompany her. Frankie was so comfortable with the babysitter that the wedding photographer took a ‘family’ photo of the two of them together, unbeknownst to her.
Though, what is perhaps more interesting then her upbeat and infectious demeanour, is her vocalisation. If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know all about the ear piercing shrieks and screeches so otherworldly that they shocked the scream-laden ears of the maternity ward nurses. A feat comparable to M. Night Shyamalan being caught unaware by a plot twist revealing that the protagonist was actually a hermit crab the whole time.
As she’s developed, Frankie’s voice box has delivered a new, and thankfully more appealing, batch of surprises. At my wife’s mothers’ group, Frankie is known as ‘El Ruidoso‘, or ‘the noisy one’. Actually, they don’t really call her El Ruidoso, I’ve just always thought that nicknames sounded way cooler in Spanish. The sounds that come out of this kid are unlike any other from another baby. High pitched shrieks, growls, grunts, machine gun effects, la-la-laing, many I struggle to even describe. It’s an impressive repertoire for someone who only recently discovered that they have feet.
And she’s not afraid to put them on display.
Last weekend, we went to Pho Hung Vong in Footscray. It’s one of the those ‘get in and get out’ places, where you sit down, shut up and eat and don’t ever fuck with the menu. And for good reason. It’s kind of like a Vietnamese incarnation of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Frankie decided that despite the drone of conversation, the hustle and bustle of waiting staff and enthusiastic yelling from the kitchen, she was to be the center of attention. Proceeding to then spend the entire time banging on the table, while growling, shrieking and singing at the top of her lungs. I was afraid it might annoy people at first, but everyone found it hilarious, including the restaurant staff. It was almost a 6 month old’s version of the below.
Frankie’s rare talents were recently confirmed by the doctor administering her latest round of vaccinations, commenting that she had a ‘very talented tongue’. Apparently, the shapes and movements she made with it were ‘well advanced’. She asked if Frankie ‘made any strange noises?’, which was swiftly put to bed by Frankie herself only moments later.
What does any of this mean? Well, it could be that my lifelong dream of raising the greatest beatboxer the world has ever seen is within my grasp. Or, she could end up being an amateur yodeller. The fine line between dreams and nightmares is but paper thin.
As each layer unfolds, kind of like…an onion, I guess, the mystery that is our Frankenstein is revealed.
What about your baby or child? Do they have any out of the ordinary habits or skills?