New Reporter Steals My Ideas, Thunder

Dominic Benjamin was brought aboard to report fresh, breaking news, but after yesterday’s plagerism I realize he’s nothing more than a cheap rerun of me.

`Wait a minute, are you stealing my gig?`
`Wait a minute, are you stealing my gig?`

I had to take a nap so I wasn’t available to double check his work before it went to print. I can’t be expected to dot every “I” nor taste every tea. He’s here to make my life easier not more difficult. Don’t forget that’s the only reason he’s here. Mom and dad aside, I ordered this guy up myself.

For a moment let’s put aside all the grief and extra work he’s caused me and focus on the matter at my little, ambidextrous hand. Yesterday Dominic ran a piece about how he shouldn’t be confused for a stuffed animal. Check your archives, people, I ran the same article last year, like almost exactly the same!

His headline was I’m No Stuffed Cuddly with this picture.

Last year my headline was I’m No Stuffed Animal with this picture.

He must know I’m not going to sue him for stealing my story and trying to pretend it’s his own, but that doesn’t make it okay! We’re here to report news not old recycled stories that were cute but lukewarm to begin with.

I’m supposed to be his boss around here, not a babysitter. I swear this kid ain’t from a dejected home yet I feel like I’m his mentor in a big brother program. I guess this can go down in my lengthy notes-to-self as yet another reason you shouldn’t hire family members.

I’m No Stuffed Cuddly

Okay, I know I’m still new around here but I have something to say about how you guys are treating me. I know I’m cute and cuddly, but that’s no reason to treat me like a stuffed animal. story347

I know you guys think I’m cute and stuff and a lot of you want to cuddle me and take me home with you, but I’m not for sale on the clearance rack and even though my parents carry me the good folks at Kids R Us don’t. While little, cute, and maybe even cuddly, I am still a person.

  • I am not plush. In fact, I don’t have much fur on me at all.
  • I need food, love and attention. You can’t leave me on a shelf.
  • I am not machine washable not even on “delicate.” Hand Wash Only.
  • Even though I may help you get to sleep I cannot be used as a pillow. And if you try I promise I’ll cry.

Don’t think I’m being fussy because I’m not. I just want to be treated like a people, which I am. You’ll know when I’m being fussy: I make lots of noise, my lip quivers and my jaw shakes. I just want people to know I’m Dominic Benjamin not Teddy Ruxpin.

New Guy Keeps Sucking Up to Mom

As the former beneficiary of the Special Treatment committee and current chairman of the jealousy committee, I know that being in good with the elder types is where it’s at.

Do you mind, I`m a little bit busy here.
Do you mind, I`m a little bit busy here.

My journey through life has been a real pal to me with preferential treatment all kinds of left and right, not to mention center. When the “cute card” fails I play my “journalist card”. When that fails, however rarely, I play my “adorable toddler card. I’ve got a lot of cards here, no two or more ways about it, but this new guy with his extra card really chaps me to a new degree.

When I try to steal his bottle or binky he goes straight to mom. When I try to trample him or climb over him with full bodily force and weight, again he goes straight to Mama. Whatever happened to due process and going through appropriate channels? This going over my head business is just too much.

Maybe I’m disenchanted by my trek through this life, but he’s old enough to be his own man. Cut the cord already, get off the teat, and quit sucking up to mom you mini-gumming wiggler.

With my peace having been said I return to my quiet, jealous irreverence as well as my Lord, jealous irreverence. I’ve got my pride and I knew my independence has made me a bestester man. Maybe it’s betterest, but no matter, I shout my humblest proclamation from the highest mountain that, pious, I’m the better man on the higher or highest grounds.


Toddler Busted for Domestic Climbing Infraction

Oh man am I in hot water now. As sure as I can mutter “up”, I have a love for all things being “up” and this isn’t my first time biting off more than I should climb. story353

I can’t help myself though, I see something scalable and being one-fifth scale myself I just have to dig my heels in and see how vertical I can get. Chairs and couches are pretty good but they lack the thrill of being atop a table on the second story balcony. But with great power comes great irresponsibility and this is a fine example.

My elders are pretty bent out of shape on this one. I’m not sure what their stance is on corporal punishment but at this point I’m more worried about capital punishment. This has got to be at least my third strike, maybe even this week. If you know any good attorneys maybe slip me a phone number.

I don’t really see what’s so bad about it. I’ve transcended benches and achieved a state of on-table-atiude unrivaled by my younger self, and I’ve got a lot of respect for younger me. This isn’t like all those other times when I climbed up to stand on the kitchen table or when I kept climbing into and throwing myself out of my own crib. Though like those times I’m still in trouble pretty deep. Boy howdy my life’s a tricky thing.

I think I’ve managed to convince them all I’m a new man, a changed man, and that I’ve learned the error of my ways. They gave me the old two-word lecture that starts and ends with “no,” perhaps you’ve heard it, it goes “no-no.” I even nodded vigorously when they made me promise not to do it again.

Silly them, I know how to work the unlocked slider door now. Maybe they should call it a revolving door instead since it didn’t take me five minutes to go back on my word and go back on the table.

Parents, man, when will they learn?

Gender Bent Baby Barks Up Wrong Trunk

I knew Hey Mama said she was taking a shower but when this daddy type picked me up to calm me down I didn’t notice what was wrong. It wasn’t until I tried to latch on for brunch that it really hit me; this isn’t going to work.

We were both like `this isn`t going to work, is it?`
We were both like `this isn`t going to work, is it?`

I know mama is one of a kind and there’s nobody that can replace her. I wasn’t trying to replace her though, I just wanted a nibble to get me by until lunchtime. Well, it’s not something I’m proud of but I tried it. Here’s some problems that I came up with:


  • Man-trunk is covered with a coarse fur that tickles my nose and rubs me the wrong way.
  • Mister-mamms have no good shape at all.
  • Papa-nipples are really, really hard to find.
  • Daddy cartons are all meat, no dairy. Even if I did find my suckle junction I’m told all I would have got was a yelp and a stern lecture. Very sad system here.


I hope someday we can all look back at this and laugh. For you and everyone I live with, that day may even be today — but not for me. I didn’t know any better but my lesson is learnt and we can pretend it didn’t happen, okay?

I hope Mama doesn’t feel like I cheated on her in our special relationship because I didn’t. Now that I know my options I can be as honest as them. I hope in my whole life I will be able to keep being as honest as my options but I’m too young to make any promises.


Primate Crib-Evicted for Monkeying Around

Just a couple days ago your sincerest and most trustworthy Perplexing editor-in-chief got himself into a new and deepest trouble of an unprecedented fashion the likes of which has changed my life for good. I’ve been evicted from my crib.

No nets here folks, do NOT try this at home.
No nets here folks, do NOT try this at home.

I wasn’t behind on my rent, but still I had done something wrong. My lease did have an “illegal activity” clause that I guess I didn’t fully understand. I’d had some late night parties at my crib, jumping around, making all the noise I could. This was against the rules too and landlord and lady never said boo.

As a result the ‘rents* tell the tale, me and bro-Patrick were in our room living large with a virtual ton of bright, plastic toys when they heard uproarious laughter followed by a thud sound much alike a kid body falling on the floor. Since it wasn’t followed by a scream they didn’t investigate. This pattern repeated three times until a cry finally did follow.

Well, as rumor (and okay, the photos too) would have it I had taught myself the skills needed to climb to new heights. I climbed all the way from the floor right up into my crib. Once in, I had to climb back out to repeat the feat (for Patrick’s entertainment of course). Hey come on, I’m a sucker for a lively crowd.

I’m told people often lose crib rights once they get big enough to climb out but I’ve never heard of anyone first learning to climb in. This is new territory for me and even for the (unpaid) ‘rents who are no strangers to the birthing, raising nor rearing processes.

I thought nothing of it at first, I’d been evicted from the crib before. This time was different though. I’m not ready for a real bed, I’m bonking my thinky-noggin on all sides and rolling out of it like crazy. Still, they think it’s better for me than a crib I can trampoline my way out of.

So this is the end of that era for sure. I guess I’m no longer a crib-dwelling toddler, but now a bed-escaping toddler. Fine, I get no say so I’ll take it. Beware though, all you readers, family members and attendants, if I’m not ready to get some Z’s in my new Z-land, I’ll pop out and pay you a visit. Your position has been made clear and so has mine. So goodnight, sweet dreams and I’ll see you in about three minutes.


Does Grammy Count as a Stranger with Candy?

You can’t start teaching your freshman family members too young. Dad tries to get me to say “daddy” and mom teaches me not to clean up after myself and never to take candy from strangers. All you people seem pretty strange, so does that mean I can’t have any candy?

I tried to hide my fear, did it work?
I tried to hide my fear, did it work?

The brothers Perplexing sure seem hooked on this candy stuff. I don’t know what it’s all about and I have to say I’ve never even had a taste, unless you count the third-hand mama-milky trickle-down sort, but from that I’m not too thrilled. Milk is more about fat and protein, I think the sugars get lost along the way.

But back to Grammy. I’m told she’s had a thing for candy since she was little. Plus mom, dad and brothers all like it too so maybe I come from a long line of candy people? And, oh boy, is that Grammy a stranger (than strange) type. She’s like 350 times older than me, tall like the mightiest mannequin and fluent in at least one language. How odd and exotic. How strange. Strange? Scratch that itch, she’s not just strange, she’s stranger.

I haven’t been really talked to yet about peer pressure because I guess I’m too young for that talk. I know there’s gonna be a day when Grammy wants me to try out her stuff. What will I do, except for quickly shove it in my mouth.

Don’t judge me for my bad habits, since it’s not even really a habit, it’s who I am. If you want to judge somebody let it be Grammy or mom or whoever it is that’s pushing this stuff. I’m the new guy and I can lean on that crutch for a long while still. Pray for my future sins.

Besides, how can I tell if it’s candy or some other thing before I put it in my gobble-hole?

Gross Motor Skills Fine By Me

One component of my hectic work-a-day regiment of toddler training is gross motor skills. Some call it occupational training, but if they don’t offer job placement upon graduation I just can’t agree with that label. story352

My fine motor skills are coming along quite well. When I get a 4-pack of freebie crayons at a restaurant I can put them all back in the box without any help. That’s tricky stuff, folks, and I’ve worked hard to earn my pride in this. Not the point though, today is about gross motor and have I ever got a report for you!

Gross motor skills are about moving around and knowing where your whole body is in space. Here’s what I’ve got figured out:

  • I almost always know where my head is and rarely bonk it on anything.
  • I can keep track of my leading foot as well as my trailing foot. The pipe bars in the picture never tripped me, not once.
  • I can negotiate elaborate terrain (such as this popsicle* course) with labor but without complication.

These new motor skills, despite a lack of internal combustion,** have really revolutionized my life. Crawling under chairs is no longer the iceberg, but just the tip of my Titanic sinker. If I can repeatedly meander my way through a staggerable pipe maze, I can do anything: step over wires, climb past unsuspecting adults, all of it. I’m progressing well, I should say, and I’m fiddle-fit to discover all kinds of new trouble. And that’s where we are now.

If you are like so many children these days and resist education as “no fun”, “too hard,” or a pointless elective because “it’s outside [your] degree”. I encourage you to hear your elders when they tell you “It’s for your own good.” Mastery will bring enlightenment and a new sort of mischivious freedom you can’t yet understand. Rarely a co-advocate for what parents may say, let me for once agree with them: your life will be better for the effort.

* Adults have suggested I meant “obstacle” course, but I saw popsicle sticks littered all about the sticky, tricky terrain, so I’m pretty sure I got it right.
**My parents report sounds akin to inernal combustion though I affirm I’m not gas powered.


Monkey Seen, Monkey Just Gotta Do

Oh man, check out what this older man* can do! He’s like Spiderman. He digs in with his sticky hands and feet and shimmies on up. If I can see it being done, I’m ready to jump in and give it my own shot. story349

My handlers are a bit concerned about this growing trend of mine. I wanna do it all and try it all and, unlike this genetically altered super-radiation being, I’m not a spider-man. He even had the hand gestures right, complete with homemade sound effects. I lack his size, strength, and agility but can easily match him in reckless abandon. And therein lies the problem.

The parents are calling webless thrill seekers like him a bad influence over me citing my lack of climbing skills as well as the more traditional hazards. When I see cooking I want to cook too. When I see kids jump out of trees I want to jump too. If everybody else was jumping off a bridge would I do it too? Well, I’d obviously try.

I slipped cooking in there out of place hoping you wouldn’t notice but, you did. What’s so bad about a toddler learning to cook? You’ve got hundreds of degrees of scalding water and spattering oils all hovering a foot overhead but it all leads up to a tasty meal — and I love to eat — so it all should work out with those ends justifying the potentially (if not certainly) disasterous means.

I’m already a copycat kind of monkey ready to monkey-see and monkey-do whatever I see done. Curious George is probably my biggest hero. Is he a bad role model? I rival him in height and as a higher primate my capacity for curiosity has almost got him beat, except for that time he got a paper route, that was pretty advanced even for a bicycle-riding chimp.

To Curious George, Spider Mini-Man, and all grownups with bad habits: I warn you that my era of emulation has arrived! If you see no harm in climbing, swearing, or being mean to people around me, then know that I see no harm in trying all those things myself.

Now, if you’ll permit me take my leave I’ve gotten myself into a real doorjamb and I have no idea how to climb it. I’m going to try though. It’s mind over matter and it doesn’t matter that my mind is under the terrible burden of confusion. I’ve seen it done, I know it can happen, and no Alexander deserves to be outshined by a wooden rectangle even if it does hold up the ceiling and divide two rooms. It may be age-old function but I’m new age functionality and failure just isn’t an option.

Now, how did that web-slinging sound effect go again?

*Older man? Yes, that’s right, just look at him. He’s much bigger, older, taller and even quite handsome too.

Baby Fails to Fail Brendan on First Assignment

It’s been like a million years since Senior Editor brother Brendan went out to do field reporting from the “road” place, and I’m proud to say I haven’t let him down. But I do feel lonely.

Brendan thanked me for a jorb well done. Wait, is that job or jorb?
Brendan thanked me for a jorb well done. Wait, is that job or jorb?

Just because the doctors say I shouldn’t leave the house doesn’t mean I should be left alone, you know. Brendan had a chance to get out and see yet more of the world and he took it leaving me in charge. I’m only six weeks old; I don’t know if he was really thinking when he told me to cover things while he’s gone. Still, I’m working hard.

I half (or more) wondered if he put me in charge just to see if I’d mess up so could fire me, I know he’s tried before. I’m still new, green, and barely wiggly but I’m ready to bust my hump to prove him wrong. Look, no days of publishing skipped, no stories missed, no readers left out. His fears are okay, but what about mine?

I’ve got a super-important middle brother missing here and it makes me sad. Where, oh where did my big brother go? No one’s been messing with my head or shaking me awake during nap time and I’m feeling left out. It’s not me, is it?

Though doctors may argue that I’m too young to feel abandonment* at my age I do miss my brother (and Dad too). I hope they’re home soon but I promise all readers (even Brendan secretly reading from some web-cafe far away) that I’m doing a good job. Wherever you are brother, I hope you are well and know you’re in my thoughts.

Love, Dominic
Jr. Editor Extra-special-ordinaire.