Critics of your baby can read.
In fact, they enjoy reading. You might call them avid readers, in the way your baby is an avid pooper.
They love to scour blog gossip about how your baby babbles like Yoda on a bender, or how your baby smells like Cheetos, or how your baby crawls wrong, or how your baby can't stand those mini Mozart CDs, preferring Iggy Pop (it's just a phase) or Ziggy Stardust (keep telling yourself it's just a phase). Critics of your baby are on MySpace and Facebook and Twitter, spreading malicious rumors about the tooth marks on the coffee table, or the spitup chunks on the wedding photos, or the drool stains on the Wii.
Yeah, they can read all right.
Some of the old-school critics still read the newspaper--you know, the thing with messy newsprint and letters to the editor and the Irascible Curmudgeon Column. Today, the Irascible Curmudgeon aims his ire at your baby's tendency to shriek at the airport television whenever the Irascible Curmudgeon is trying to watch Mad Money. Also, your baby ralphed on the in-flight magazine crossword, which was half solved.
Your baby's most dedicated critic--antiquities scholar F. Preston Venable III, of Drake University--has gone half-mad searching for the perfect Old English phrase with which to insult your baby. He can read in six languages, five of them extinct.
Critics of your baby can most definitely read.
But don't worry. Your baby can read critics, too. And as soon as she attains the motor skills needed to handle a keyboard, her critics will pay.
[163rd in a series]