Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Discovery Channel

There's only one thing worth watching in our house. Our Tivo is overflowing with shows that have been saved for more than a month because we are tuned in to one channel: PTV. All Penelope, all the time. It's the funniest, sweetest, most entertaining thing out there.

There's intrigue no matter what time you click on. It starts first thing in the morning. We hear her through the baby monitor, talking nonstop in her crib like Diane Chambers used to in "Cheers."

She's excited to start the new day! And even though sometimes it's as early as 6 AM, so are we. There is nothing like the look on Penelope's face when you wish her "Good morning." Imagine your favorite picture, taken at your favorite place on your favorite vacation. Multiply the feeling you get when you look at it by about a thousand, and you're almost halfway to the feeling we get from PM in the AM.

And I'm telling you, it doesn't get old. TV shows do, though. Some sooner than others. But there is no need for special guest stars, or end-of-the-season clifhangers on PTV. This show, playing daily in our apartment, gets better everyday. That's because the head writer is always coming up with something new, a fresh idea, to keep us wanting more.

First she started laughing. And just the thought of the sound of her laugh gives me a tingling feeling in my chest, until I finally give in and laugh to myself. I'm a pretty funny guy, and now my entire day is consumed with trying to make my 4 month old daughter laugh. Not smile. That's easy. Laugh. Ironically, she laughs at my material the least out of the three of us. My wife and Luna, in fact, are apparently a lot funnier than I think I am.

Yes, she laughs at Luna. Just the mere sight of the dog, and Penelope will break out in a series of guttural cackles, like an old man watching a re-run of "Sanford and Son." She's more infatuated with Luna than Skippy Handleman was with Mallory Keaton on "Family Ties." And when Luna gets close, Penelope grabs hold and doesn't let go. That creates a chaotic scene of dog thrashing, baby laughing, parents untangling, and then, once freed, dog nervously wagging and kissing baby. Then it starts all over again.

And be careful, ladies, Penelope also likes to grab earrings. Noses too. I'm now susceptible to at least one nosebleed a day, from my daughter's deadly grip and squeeze.

Her curiosity has brought her to new phases, and new positions. Her reaching has led to turning over, making that move as routine as the unnecessary cleavage on "Desperate Housewives." Only a dad to a daughter would refer to any sort of cleavage as "unnecessary."

Penelope is also teaching herself a lot of things. She no longer sleeps in a swaddle, or with a pacifier. She now finds her thumb, and puts herself to sleep that way. She was trying to tell us to stop swaddling her for weeks, we just wouldn't listen. She would wake up crying in the middle of the night, and we would just stick that little sucker back in her mouth. "No," she was saying, "I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself." And so she is.

We are making some discoveries of our own. Penelope is a lot more able than her parents sometimes give her credit for. She's a baby, but she's not helpless. She tells us when she's tired by violently rubbing her face with the back of her hand. She tells us she's hungry, by staying quiet and patiently waiting for us to feed her. And, oh yes, she tells us when she's happy by kicking those little legs and belting out those chuckles.

Call your cable or satellite providers now and ask them for PTV. This stuff is better than anything you've ever watched before.

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