Wearing earplugs to bed is hardly an unusual thing for a city dwelling adult to do to fight snoring spouses, loud garbage trucks, gunshots, firecrackers, etc. What is unusual, however, is keeping those earplugs in all day. But that’s exactly what Dawn Caldwell does, because she’s the mom of one April Caldwell – the world’s chattiest toddler.
“I like to say, she could talk the kernels off an ear of corn, she talks so much,” said Caldwell. “Why, she could chat the wheels off an eighteen-wheeler. She could blab the bulbs off a Christmas tree. She could talk the paint off a brand spankin’ new barn. She could talk the hair off of a very, very hairy gorilla.”
Caldwell, who relocated earlier this year from her hometown of Anderson, Ala., after the breakup of her marriage, has six other children, but so far, only April has proven so chatty. When asked her thoughts on the possible origin of her daughter’s verbal overactivity, Caldwell launched into an unstoppable barrage of Southern hick metaphors.
“All I’m saying is that she could talk the honey right out of the suckle. She could talk the teeth back into my Uncle Bobby’s toothless mouth. She could talk the ticks right off the dogs. She could talk the hind legs off a billy goat.”
“A child’s speaking habits vary greatly,” said Dr. William Goodson of the Murray Hill Medical Group. “What would be worrisome is if there were no chatting or sound making of any kind. But the sound of a happy, talkative baby girl should be music to a mother’s ears.”
“It ain’t music to my ears. It’s damn annoying,” said Caldwell. “It’s nonstop nonsensical chatter. Why, she could…,
“My advice to Mrs. Caldwell would be to remove those silly earplugs and enjoy her girl,” said Dr. Goodson. “Because before she knows it, that sweet child will be a sullen, annoyed teenager who refuses to speak to her at all. She’ll yearn for those days when her biggest problem was a chatty baby.”
“Yeah? Well Dr. Fancy-Cock can shove it. He don’t (sic) know what it’s like to have a kid that makes such a racket all day and all night, nonstop, like there’s no tomorrow. Fucker.”
“Fucker? So I’m a fucker for advising you to enjoy your precious little daughter before these wonderful years fly past?”
“Listen to you, all fancy in your white lab coat and shiny metal forehead disc. You think you’re so special with your framed certificates and medical books and whatnot. I’m telling you my girl is driving me fucking batshit crazy and all you say is ‘enjoy her’? What a quack.”
“OK. now I’m a quack; a quack with a shiny metal forehead disc, no less. Tell me, when was the last time you actually set foot in a doctor’s office? We stopped wearing the reflective metal disc around 1945. And would you like me to prescribe a sleeping pill for your daughter so she can simply sleep her childhood away and leave you alone? Is that would you would like?”
“No, I would not like that, Doctor Fuckface. I have no problem getting my own pills.”