Close sources have confirmed that Ms. Squiggles from Singapore has been conferred an honorary doctorate in Human Psychology by the University of Infants Rule the World. Our correspondent in Singapore brings you an exclusive interview with the elusive Ms. oops Dr. Squiggles.
As I enter the room she lies on her tummy, head raised high with bright inquisitive eyes taking in her surroundings. She's dressed in a cute little orange onesie. Her eyes swivel towards me, absorbing everything in a long unflinching glance. I can see the intelligence in those eyes and am no longer wondering how someone so young could achieve so much so soon. My curiosity aroused, we begin.
First of all Congratulations Dr. Squiggles! How does it feel to receive such an honour at the tender age of 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days?
Dr. Squiggles *gushingly, hands over face*: Oh thank you! It feels wonderful. It was totally unexpected you see. I'm really happy that my efforts are being recognised.
Dr. Squiggles starts pulling her legs up, trying to catch hold of them with her hands. I cough a couple of times to get her attention but a blue frog has caught her fancy and I'm struggling.
Dr. Squiggles! Dr. Squiggles!!!
I'm loud enough to get a cursory glance. Before she looks away I plunge in.
What would you consider are your major achievements?
Where do I start? Hmmm...
1. I'm quite fond of my mom. And I really don't like it when she hands me over to someone else as she does quite often. So I decided to get rid of this nonsense. Now as soon as someone else picks me up I start crying and I don't stop until I'm back in her arms.
2. I have almost got rid of my dad. Everytime he comes near I start wailing. As a result there's little opportunity for my mom to spend time with my dad. The plan to separate them is working really well. In fact the other day I overheard them arguing. Mom thought Dad wasn't making enough of an effort and Dad kept saying that there wasn't much point because I was crying loudly with my eyes shut tight. I do that really well. She was suggesting that maybe Dad should get off his backside and walk around with me. As if that would work *smirk*.
It's the orange monkey now.
Oh yes, sorry. 3. I get bored quite easily. I think Mom has finally figured out that I need constant attention and entertainment. Sometimes she gets a bit lazy and tries to put me in my crib with the mobile playing. But I've told her in no uncertain terms that is not going to work anymore. Just because I was stupid enough to lie there quietly watching it when I was younger doesn't mean it's going to work now when I'm older.
4. I now communicate with all strangers (everyone except my mom that is) while perched on her shoulder. I coo, gurgle and smile at everyone from a comfortable distance. I don't like to get too close and I think I've got the message across pretty well.
I: How hard has it been for you to reach this stage?
It was surprisingly easy actually. Adults are a piece of cake to manage. I am quite fortunate that I have first time parents. That makes them especially vulnerable (stumbling a little on that long word) to crying infants.
I: What are your key strengths?
Persistence. I can outcry the best of them. My parents have tried all kinds of tactics - ignoring me, trying to distract me with funny noises, joining in and imitating my cry, doing funny little jigs, getting outsiders to help. They're quite creative really. But I have been quite persistent with my wailing. As soon as they cave in, I quieten down.
My second key strength is Innovation. The moment my mom thinks she has figured out a way to distract me I come up with another reason to throw a tantrum. E.g. When I was smaller I hated the car seat and would cry all the time when she put me in it. Now that she's managed to convince me of its merits, I cry everytime the car stops. So, you see innovation is the key.
Dr. Squiggles has just spied her mom and starts whimpering for her attention. I wave a rattle in her face to get her to continue with the interview. I succeed but only for a bit longer.
I: Any special tips for other infants out there?
What I have found works particularly well is to continue to whimper in a complaining manner after the tantrum. This I find serves to remind my mom that I have not forgotten the latest cruelty lest they contemplate putting me down or giving me to someone else to carry. Any further attempts to have their way are promptly discarded.
The other thing that I would like to say to all the other infants is keep them on their toes. Don't ever get into a routine. The uncertainty means that they are constantly wondering what's going to happen next and all plans are at your mercy.
Oh and tears, of course. Nothing like good old tears.
Dr. Squiggles is looking beseechingly at her mom again. I hurry.
I: Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge before we end this interview?
This *holding up the plaque* is for my Mom. It wouldn't have been possible without her. I love you Ma.