Written by Lee Schneider, overfiftyunderfive.com
My young son is developing fast. Today he got the first letter addressed to him personally – containing his social security card. As soon as he looked it over, he smiled and handed me this deal memo. Obviously, he prepared it in advance.
Whereas I am a baby and can get whatever I want
Whereas you are my parents and are obligated to give me what I want
I propose the following irrevocable, binding, non-negotiable agreement which you shall accept or else I shall cry and cry and cry.
1. I shall cause any number of women over the age of fifty to approach my stroller and say, ’Oh, is that a cute baby in there?’ Their actions shall cause you to say ‘Yes, he’s very cute.’ Then they shall say, ‘He’s a good baby isn’t he?’ No matter what I did last night you shall respond, ‘Yes, he is a good baby.’ And you will say it like you mean it. The penalty for non-compliance shall be crying and crying.
2. You shall feed me ten times a day or more. At any time I have the right to attempt to up this to twenty times a day. Feedings shall be composed of breast milk or formula, whichever I desire. If I choose to puke, you shall clean it up promptly without judgment.
3. You shall entertain me, talk to me, sing to me, smile at me, and cuddle me. Cuddling shall include, but not be limited to bouncing, jiggling, dandling (upon knees or over shoulder), rocking, swinging, swooping, swaying, dipping, honey-looping, schwartzwaldering, gentle Heimlich maneuvers, and hugging. The penalty for non-performance shall be loud crying.
4. From time to time and in my sole discretion I shall reward you with a smile. This does not constitute any obligation to smile, and I will sometimes smile for no reason. Upon the appearance of my smile, you shall always respond with unmitigated delight.
5. Parents who walk around complaining, walk into walls because of fatigue, experience headaches, lack of funds or other adult ‘issues’ shall do so away from me, so as not to disturb the idyllic experience of my childhood.
6. I reserve the right to be incredibly charming to complete strangers, to my nanny, to grandparents, and to anyone else who is not you, my parents. Further to this, I shall sleep soundly while outside in my stroller and when said stroller is brought inside, and even when I am not disturbed or when there are no additional stimuli, I shall cry like a loon anyway just because I am inside and not outside.
Disputes related to this agreement shall be settled by binding arbitration with another baby in the state of California or by a grandparent who will take my side. The arbitrator’s judgment in these matters shall be final and binding. The signatures below signify that the baby has no obligation to adhere to any agreement of any kind and that the parents are obligated to fulfill and fully render any aspect of this agreement.
[Signature block for baby]
[Signature block for parents]
Wow. I’m screwed. Anybody know a good lawyer?