Ten Months Old 

A self-published book with an infant on the cover showing it as her diary about the first year
A picture of a harmonica

Dear Diary:


Daddy heard from a friend that classical music helps develop a baby’s math and reasoning skills.  So this morning at breakfast, Daddy pulled out his …harmonica.


Acting as Master of Ceremonies, Mommy said with a straight face, “Well Madison, we are quite lucky.  We’re going to hear a Beethoven piece performed on a ‘hick’ harmonica.”


It didn’t make any difference to me though; I was captivated by the shiny silver object.  It was so tiny and noisy, and Daddy put in in his mouth…apparently attempting to eat it, which is exactly what I would have done.


Daddy stood up at the table, pushed his plate aside, and asked for silence.
Mommy heckled him.  “Hee-Haw.”  Daddy tried to ignore her as she said under her breath, “Where’s my chewin’ tobackee?”


Finally Mommy quieted down and ate a blueberry muffin as Daddy blew three or four notes to warm up.  Then he looked at the sheet music and pressed the harmonica into his mouth.  I closed my eyes and tried to open my mind so that I could excel one day at math and reasoning, I wanted to let my skills develop.


Within seconds, my eyelids popped open, and Mommy stopped chewing her muffin:  Daddy was no trained musician.  In fact, he should have come with a warning label.


He blew so hard that he used up all of his air on the first note.  Then he sucked air back in through all the holes of the harmonica at once, which made him sound like an out of tune human accordion.


I tried to be good and supportive, but instinctively I started to cry, and in response, Mommy started to laugh.


Daddy continued, unabated, to “make music.”  Soon Mommy got the giggles and couldn’t stop.  Meanwhile I cried more and more.  Finally, Daddy stopped and looked up at all the commotion.


I slowly coughed, choked, and threw up.


“Well,”  Mommy quipped, “there’s a redneck ovation for ya!”