2012 wasn't even twenty-four hours old before I encountered the first demon spawn of the new year. I was at a New Year's Day party nursing my hangover with a glass or two of prosecco. The gathering was one for adults, I assumed, but lo and behold through the doors came a couple with child in tow; an adorable little boy of about two or three. I thought back to the resolution that I made earlier that morning: If a baby is in my station I will not immediately assume it's an asshole. I will wait three minutes before I determine its asshole-ness. I set the stopwatch on my phone for three minutes to pass before I determined if the child was an asshole or not and then I remembered that the baby was not in my station. Therefore, it was alright to deem it an asshole only twenty seconds into my time with it.
Why is this child here? There are thirty audits ranging from 25 to 50 years old at this party and there is one person who is clearly not the drinking age. Maybe the parents wanted to spend the first day of the new year with their child, but I certainly didn't. I decided I would pour myself another glass of prosecco and ignore the hell out of it. Easier said than done. It let out a piercing scream when someone tickled it. "He's been cooped up in the car for a few hours today'" laughed Dad. "He has a lot of energy to burn." Oh, then by all means bring it to a party then, that's freakin' perfect. No, no, don't take it to a park or something. Take it to a party where more than half the room needs mellow because they threw up the night before from ringing in the new year. This child was terrifying. I thought I had already seen the most disgusting thing I would possibly see all year when I watched a woman kiss a taxidermied Dick Clark at 12:01 but that was topped when I saw the kid put a cherry tomato in his mouth and then decide he didn't like it and spit it out and place it right back with the others. I knew it was going to do that as soon as I saw it pick up the tomato. "That's a pretty big bite there," I said to it. "Maybe you shouldn't put the whole thing in your mouth." It ignored me and crammed it into its mouth. "Just don't fucking choke on it, alright?" I thought as I scanned the room for its parents in case there was a need for the Heimlich.
Eventually, someone started to play with the child and got it all riled up. I continued to ignore it as much as I could. Suddenly, and without warning, the child ran towards me with his arms over his head. Was he going to hug me? Was he sensing I didn't like him and he wanted to win me over with affection? Was he going to shower me with kisses? No. He threw a coaster at me and then ran away screaming. Adorable. It was then confirmed I truly hated him.
I never once interacted with him and about two ungodly hours later he was still running and screaming and laughing all to the delight of absolutely no one. I sat in my chair and carried on the conversation with my friends when I heard the pounding of little feet coming at me. I turned just in time to see the kid hit my leg and run away to his mother who laughed, because it's just so fucking funny when your kid hits a stranger He did it again. She laughed again. He came at me a third time but this time I put my hand up and said, "No! More!" He did it anyway. I picked up the cheese knife and prepared for the fourth time. Either Mom saw I wasn't a kid person or she saw that I was now armed with a weapon because she kept him close from then on.
Eventually, the kid wound down. Maybe he was tired from all the running around or maybe that vodka I had slipped into his glass of Juicy Juice was finally starting to take affect, I dunno. Right when he was becoming tolerable is when the parents thought it was time to go home. It was almost like they were saying, "Well, he's done annoying you all, so our mission is complete." They wrapped the kid up in a coat and carried it out. The room breathed a collective sigh of "get me another drink." Only eighteen hours into 2012 and I had already had my nerves frazzled by a child. What was in store for me when I drag my ass back to work tomorrow? More annoying babies with parents who resolved for 2012 to let their kids be free spirits? Probably. Just remember: If a baby is in my station I will not immediately assume it's an asshole. I will wait three minutes before I determine its asshole-ness.