I've come to suspect that my baby daughter might be possessed by the devil. I have several reasons for this.
First, I began to suspect the presence of dark forces in my daughter shortly after she was born because I would come home from work to find my wife singing, dancing with our daughter, just living it up but when I would then send my wife to bed or out of the house to give her a break, Ellie, my daughter, would wait until my wife was completely asleep or on the road, and then she'd start to cry. She would cry and cry inconsolably until something like five minutes before my wife returned. At that point, Ellie would drop off to sleep and would give my wife no problems for the rest of the night.
It was around this time that I started to notice the smell of brimstone lingering in our kitchen. My wife claims it was the Diaper Genie needing to be changed, but I suspect that it was the demon tainting Ellie's bottles. The fact that the smell disappeared shortly after I changed the Diaper Genie only goes to show how devious these dark forces can be.
My second reason for suspecting my daughter may be under the influence of some demonic force is that she has developed extra-sensory abilities specifically attuned to my bodily functions. When my wife's not around, my daughter can sense, for example, exactly when I have to use the bathroom. That's when she starts crying and needs to be changed or fed, both of which take much, much longer when I'm alone than they do when my wife is home. Now, if Ellie were to do this every time my wife went to a friend's house or ran to the store, well that would make me think my daughter was just gifted in some strange way. The fact that she only does it every so often--so that it keeps me on my toes--proves the demonic influence.
If you're not buying any of this, I will now present my final and most incontrovertible proof of demonic influence in our baby: her unearthly cuteness. Case in point: Despite having spent 18 of the last 20 minutes screaming her head off while my wife was upstairs and I was supposed to be "putting the baby down for her afternoon nap", Ellie is now sleeping with one arm wrapped around a pink, stuffed bunny. Her other arm is thrown behind her head. A Binky (i.e. pacifier) with the words "cutie pie" printed on the pink and purple bulb is firmly lodged in her mouth. She wakes occasionally to suck the pacifier. Just before she fell asleep she smiled beatifically at me, after 17 minutes of screaming, and dropped off to sleep. It was the smile that proved to me once and for all that her soul is owned by Satan himself. Like butter, heavy cream, cigarettes and all other things that are really good, a baby this cute can't possibly be good for me.
I've developed several methods of dealing with this situation. First off, I've been mixing just a tinge of holy water into her bottles. I've noticed it gives her a healthy glow, though my wife keeps remarking on her sweaty feet and slightly panicked look during feedings. Also, instead of reading Dr. Seuss to her, I've been reading the Lord's Prayer and the Catholic Exorcism ritual. She giggles at the funny-sounding words.
It's a difficult battle, resisting the powers and charms of my possibly demon-possessed daughter. Each day, I find myself swayed to do her bidding more and more. Earlier today, I will admit, when my wife put her down for her nap and went upstairs, I listened to Ellie cry to be held for just the briefest moment before grabbing her up and dancing around the living room despite my wife's admonition that she needs to learn to soothe herself--and I swear, for just a moment, I saw a Maypole and heard a choir of children singing in the background. And I swear, when I laid her down, I saw the briefest outline of wings.
But maybe I've got this whole thing wrong. There are moments of real beauty. That smile that made me forgive everything earlier, the way she puts one hand behind her head to guide it towards her thumb, the way her tiny fingers hold my thumb while she drinks from her bottle, the way she stretches for minutes on end when she wakes. I am being corrupted by cuteness. It's a battle I can't hope to win, and now I'm not even sure I want to.