So back to this thing we are here to talk about. (Or, more pompously: “So back to this thing about which we are here to talk.”) I will call it “hedgehog,” because if there’s one thing I gathered from Harry Potter, it’s that the most evil things should not be called by their true names. Also, ew.
A few people have asked me, “Have you had a very public hedgehog incident yet?” To which I say, “No! We have had no issues whatsoever! She’s an awesome baby.”
Do you know what the Bible says? The Bible says that pride comes before a fall, or a hedgehog, loosely translated.
A week ago, Baby and I were at dinner with some friends. Baby had on a turkey hat and was being really, really adorable. My sweet, precious friends were oooh-ing and ahhh-ing and doing all the things great friends do when you bring your pride and joy baby around. But here’s something else you should know about these sweet, precious friends. These exact friends and I have texted many, many times in absolute bewilderment about moms posting things on Facebook or whatever about hedgehogs. We were like EWWWWWWWWW, moms! Stop it! When I told them I was pregnant, I also told them that they should under no circumstances allow me to get like that. And on one hand I still agree with us, and on the other hand, here I sit, writing about hedgehogs, because here’s the thing my old self needs to know – sometimes hedgehogs are TERRIFYING and OVERWHELMING and you just NEED OTHER PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH. Like yesterday, Baby had a bath and then a very inconvenient post-bath hedgehog. So she had another bath, and then suddenly there she is, bathing with more hegdehogs! So there were three baths before 10 a.m., and I interrupted my husband in the middle of a meeting because I NEEDED HIM TO KNOW WHAT I HAD ENDURED. So I kind of get it. The sharing, I mean. And yet, ew. Mixed emotions. Whatever. The point is, we had it coming. You can’t just judge other peoples’ babies’ hedgehogs and not risk enduring a VERY PUBLIC, VERY EPIC hedgehog yourself. Because do you know what the Bible says? It says judge not lest you be judged, or loosely translated, judge not the hedgehogs of others lest you be dealt with a very severe hedgehog yourself.
So baby is sitting there, knowing she’s cute and totally working it, and I hear this little hedgehog bark, or whatever it is that hedgehogs do. I’m smiley and being responsible mom and say, “Oops, guys! Looks like we have a hedgehog over here. Gonna take her to the hedgehog room real quick.” My cool friends are like, “No prob, dude! Hope it’s not a badly behaved hedgehog!” And I kind of check the baby, and I confirm, “Nope! It’s no big deal! Only well behaved hedgehogs allowed at Huey’s!” Huey’s is the restaurant where we were eating, a restaurant coincidentally only filled at the moment with young twenty-somethings being loud and youth-like and flirting with one another and making us barf, a.k.a. clearly being people who are never, ever around babies or their hedgehogs. The perfect audience, one might say.
I lift little turkey-headed baby out of the high chair, and then my friends are like “OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH,” and I’m like, “What?” And then I remember what hedgehogs do – they run. I mean, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. I see speedy little hedgehogs EVERYWHERE. Like EVERY. WHERE. Hedgehogged baby legs. Hedgehogged high chair. Hedgehogged FLOOR. Hedgehogged mother hands. (Should I be doubling the “g” when I spell “hedgehogged”?) The whole place is crawling with hedgehogs. Hedgehog infestation to the max. Here is what happens next:
FRIEND 1: WHAT DO WE DO?
ME: UM UM UM UM I don’t know!
FRIEND 2: EW EW LIKE EW EW
FRIEND 3: HERE ARE NAPKINS!!!!
ME: [holds napkins to baby posterior and shuffles awkwardly to hedgehog room praying we do not leave a trail of hedgehog while smiling oddly at young twenty-somethings kind of like “careful careful with all that flirting!”]
ME: UM UM UM UM [begins to employ Code Brown Hedgehog Extraction Procedures] I HAVE BEEN TRAINING FOR THIS FOR EIGHT MONTHS! THIS IS MY OLYMPICS
BABY: Smile. Smile. Look how cute I am!
ME: HELLO THIS IS NO TIME FOR BEING CUTE YOU HAVE HEDGEHOGGED EVERYWHERE THIS IS NOT A DRILL
Friends 1 and 2 enter the hedgehog room, while Friend 3 must sit alone with the young twenty-somethings. Bless her.
FRIEND 1: Good news! The waitress gave us Clorox!
ME: Yikes. That is humiliating. And yet it is the only true hedgehog killer.
FRIEND 2: Can I help?
ME: No, no, I must endure this alone. I created this monster, and I am solely responsible for hedgehog infiltration. How does it look out there?
FRIEND 2: Super gross.
FRIEND 1: Is that a normal color for a hedgehog?
ME: Yes, but I had to google it.
BABY: I remain completely unaffected by this series of events.
FRIEND 2: You should just throw those pjs out.
We go back and face the music.
FRIEND 2: I do not want my salad anymore.
FRIEND 1: I am very glad I already finished my French fries.
FRIEND 3: We will tell this at her rehearsal dinner.
ME: I will blog about it.
Later, at the table, I tip my waitress. But then I scribble the number out and double it. Later in the car, I feel guilty. I should have tripled it. Because, I mean, yikes. She did not deserve that.