AKA - Bubble
We’re at a local restaurant grabbing breakfast. Mila has just woken up, and for some unknown reason, appears to hate me. I noticed her buggy moving, went to see if she was okay, smiled at her sleepy little face and received a fearful glare in return.
“Are you okay little lady?” I asked.
She simply glared back.
I unbuttoned her clips and lifted her out of the buggy. Mila screamed. Everyone in the restaurant stared. I handed Mila to Zsuzsa, she became calm and smiley. Zsuzsa handed her back to me, the scream returned. And now we’re back to the start of this tale with me being confused.
“What’s wrong Mila? It’s me! Daddy!”
Tears are now pouring down her face. She seems terrified! I glance around at the other diners. Beady eyes everywhere, staring at me over their ham and eggs. They probably think I’m stealing her!
“I’m her Dad!” I want to defiantly state. “Go back to your ham and eggs, peasants! There is no baby snatching going on here!”
But I don’t. Instead I meekly hand Mila back to Zsuzsa. She looks at her mummy and smiles.
What the hell! What is this treachery!?
“She was making funny noises in her sleep. Maybe she had a nightmare.” suggests Zsuzsa. “Maybe you did something bad to her in her dreams?”
“Like what?” I ask.
Zsuzsa thinks for a moment.
“Maybe you murdered me.” she says, before turning to Mila, smiling and saying “Did Daddy kill Anya (Hungarian for Mum)? Was Daddy a bad, murderous man?”
I’m aghast. I rarely do anything to suggest that I could be a cold blooded murderer.
“But why? Why would she think I’d kill you?” I ask.
Zsuzsa again thinks for a moment. This is the second time now in a matter of minutes. A possible record.
“Maybe it’s because you’ve been trying to teach her Al Pacino impressions? Maybe she doesn’t want to do an impression of Al Pacino?”
This is true. Over the last few days I’ve been trying to teach Mila to do an Al Pacino impression. I’ve begun with something simple, “Hoo hah!” from Scent of a Woman. Once she’s mastered this I plan to move on to something a little more complex. Something like “She’s got a GRRREEEEAAAAATTTT ASS!” from Heat. Obviously, like everyone else, it’s always been a dream of mine to have a little baby girl who can do a mean Al Pacino impression.
Anyway, what the devil is Zsuzsa on about? Why on earth wouldn't Mila want to master an Al Pacino impression!? I make a mental note to later advise Zsuzsa not to think twice in such a short space of time again.
"Look on the bright side. At least she likes one of us." says Zsuzsa.
The next few hours are spent with Daddy on a full-on charm offensive assault. I take Mila to the swings, I repeatedly kiss her chubby little cheeks, I change her piss filled nappy and I feed her baby slop. Eventually, Mila begins to thaw and appears to stop seeing me as an evil super-villain who punches kittens and murders mummies.
It’s the afternoon. To cement my newfound ‘good-guy’ status I’m reading her a book. It’s an English translation of a popular Hungarian book about a couple of friends. One is a snail and the other a ladybird. I find it hard to believe that a snail and a ladybird could ever be great mates given their vastly differing lifestyles, but I decide to bite my tongue and read this preposterous tosh to her anyway, as Mila seems to like it.
“There was Flutter the butterfly, Stanley the stag beetle, Leapy the grasshopper and Bubble the baby beetle.” I say.
“Bubble.” says Mila.
Zsuzsa and I stare at each other in astonishment.
“Did you hear that?” I ask.
Zsuzsa nods, excitedly.
“Bubble.” I say.
“Bubble.” says Mila!
“Bubble.” says Zsuzsa.
“Bubble.” says Mila.
Hooray! Our little baby girl has said her first word on her nine-month birthday! She hasn’t got a bloody clue what it means, but that doesn’t matter. She said “Bubble!”
“Speaking at nine months! That’s early isn’t it?” I ask.
“I think so.” beams Zsuzsa.
“Maybe she’s a genius! Maybe she’s the next Einstein?” I suggest.
We both gaze upon our little girl. Mila grabs a toilet roll and attempts to eat it. Zsuzsa tries to wrestle it off her while I begin to scour the net to see if Al Pacino has ever said the word “bubble” on film.