I went to a party today with the parents. Normally the only place we go during the day is the store, so it was a nice change of pace. Mommy and Daddy dressed up in funny clothes. Daddy tied a big tag around his neck for me to pull. I think he should wear it more often. They put funny clothes on me too. I guess we’re bonding.
I’m glad that the parents are socializing, but I have to admit I didn’t really see the appeal. The music was boring, and everyone just stood around talking. In fact, it was so dull that one lady had fallen asleep in her crib. She was a really good sleeper. People kept going up and talking to her, but she never stirred. It’s a good thing, too. Her crib was tiny. I don’t know how she can roll around in it, but it was very nice. Much nicer than my crib, now that I think about it. I’ll have to talk to the parents about correcting that.
I have a circular toy bench. It has toys that light up and make noises, and toys I can bop and pull. Conveniently, there is a seat right in the center so I can reach all the toys. It’s a great place to go when I need to get away from the parents for a while.
Unfortunately, Daddy can’t keep his hands off my toys. He’s always moving them around. If I pull the blocks off my alligator and throw them over the side, he puts them back. I’ve explained that he’s covering up the pretty buttons, but he doesn’t listen.
If I push the parrot around so it’s standing on its head, Daddy will spin it back. If I knock the monkeys off the top of the arch, Daddy will push them back up. I feel like I spend half my time just undoing his behavior. I really need to have a conversation with him about personal property.
Have you ever gone outside the city gate and looked down on Ben Hinnom? Have you seen all the waste from the city that is thrown there? It is a noxious place, filled with worms and vermin. Fires rage though the trash heaps, and the smell of its burning and rot turn the stomach. Have you seen there, in the valley, the high places of Topheth, where the pagans sneak off to sacrifice their own family members to secure worldly advantage?
I haven’t seen certain members of your family recently. I thought perhaps they were busy elsewhere, or maybe they had decided to leave the city, but now I have seen their corpses rotting in Topheth, and I can no longer deny the reality. You have followed after the pagans, and I can go no further with you.
I would prefer to stay in the familiarity of the city with you. I have thoughts of turning you back from destruction, but I have been warned against this day. Already I see the abomination that causes desolation standing in the temple, and I must take my family and flee to the mountains, stopping to take nothing. I do not leave you in anger, but with the deepest turmoil in my heart. I can see that the siege engines are not far off.
I will pray that the siege does not last long, and that you are not reduced to eating the flesh of your brothers and sisters, but I fear that my prayers will not be enough. I know you will fight to hold your place, no matter how far you must debase yourself. I also know that eventually your walls will be breached, and enemy soldiers will dump your body into Ben Hinnom with the rest. I regret that it has come to this. I will miss you.
When working with parents, it’s always a struggle to avoid getting too far ahead of their developmental level. I have to hold myself back and realize that they’re not going to catch onto concepts as quickly as I’d like. I must confess, sometimes it’s really hard to be patient with them, but, honestly, I think I do better than most babies would if they had to put up with these parents.
For example, at floor level in the tall room are shelves of toys and brightly colored boxes. It’s obvious to anyone that I’m supposed to play with them. Yet when Mommy or Daddy take me there, they always put me far away from the boxes. If I decide to go to them on my own, without inconveniencing the parents in any way, they’ll chase me down and drag me away from them, even though I’ve made it quite clear that I want to stay there. I swear, sometimes it seems like they’re deliberately obstructing my goals. Yet instead of punishing them, as I’d like, I just wait until they’ve left and then return to the boxes. Maybe, with time and training, they’ll catch on. A baby can hope.