Feeding LO without Temper Tantrums
Only the best grass-fed, organic, free-range goats for lil baby Obrepian…
Artwork by Katie Barrett
Log file: Department of Defense—Exobiology—Obrep—Minders’ Forum
ArgonneGuarav at 10:02
Greetings fellow Obrepian-minders. Mine was shot down over a cornfield last week. No clue why it’s here. Not much else to say for my first post, except … does anyone else find their Obrepian kind of cute?
LosAlamosLou at 11:20
Congrats Guarav on your NA! Cherish these moments. They don’t stay NA’s forever. My LO’s ship crashed in the desert a month ago. We just started eating solids today. You should see how the juice dribbles down its chin!
BevAtSandia at 13:01
The Obrepians can’t digest fruit. So I’m assuming that by ‘juice’ you mean goat blood. And ‘dribbles down its chin’? Seriously? Mine splatters the walls like a wet dog. What planet is your Newly Arrived Little Obrepian from?
LosAlamosLou at 13:35
I know, Bev. They can be a handful. But when I look into my DA’s eyes, I can’t stop thinking about how one day it’ll be all grown up and move out for good. I don’t want to miss a thing.
BevAtSandia at 14:42
It has one soccer ball of an eye and three eyeholes, and I recommend not looking into any of them unless you want a nosebleed. There’s basically no chance it’ll ever leave the quarantine chamber. Enough with the acronyms!
ArgonneGuarav at 15:24
My Dearest Alien is starting goat tomorrow! I can’t believe how fast the time went by. I was thinking of also giving it some yogurt—organic whole milk, but not Greek. I don’t think my Little Obrepian is ready for sour tastes. What do you think?
LosAlamosLou at 15:44
Yes yes yes! Try adding avocado—finely sliced to prevent choking—for healthy fats. And try to get grass-fed goats from an organic farm. It’s worth the extra money. I don’t even want to think about what all of our hormones and antibiotics would do to my Little Obrepian.
BevAtSandia at 16:01
I didn’t mean spell the acronyms out. You both seem to have formed unhealthy attachments to your Obrepian subjects. Any new info about their mission? Has anyone managed to actually communicate with one?
ArgonneGuarav at 16:06
Does peekaboo count? We play peekaboo for hours a day.
LosAlamosLou at 16:10
Jealous! We play patty cake. I’m not complaining, but it’s no peekaboo.
BevAtSandia at 16:19
Please tell me you aren’t in physical contact with your Obrepian.
ArgonneGuarav at 16:33
Can we do that? Like, cuddling? I don’t want to hurt mine. What if it has sensitive skin, or a nut allergy? I eat a sesame bagel some mornings. I’d give it up for some skin-to-skin, though.
BevAtSandia at 16:41
Serrated metal scales? Toxic sweat? Feelers that end in barbed spikes? Do you really want to touch that?
LosAlamosLou at 16:46
I’m with you, Guarav. Cuddle-heaven. I clap, and it makes subaudible vibrations with its mandibles. The glass is between us when we play patty cake, but I really can feel it, in my heart. You know?
ArgonneGuarav at 16:47
Yes. Infinite love.
BevAtSandia at 08:57
Yes. You should get yourself checked for organ damage. Random question. Do either of you have children?
LosAlamosLou at 10:02
It’s funny you asked. We submitted the adoption paperwork last year and found our match two months ago. Baby should be arriving any day!
ArgonneGuarav at 10:07
My wife is seven months pregnant. It’s a girl! But lately I’ve been worried. Will I have enough love for both my YDD and ODA?
BevAtSandia at 11:42
OK. As the mother of three teenage boys, I can tell you that (1) yes, you do have enough love for both your Youngest Dearest Daughter and your Oldest Dearest Alien (Arrival? Arachnoid? Am I really supposed to know?), and (2) you should not feel the need to ask this question. I know you’re excited for the arrival of your actual, human children, but what you are doing now—transferring your feelings onto your Obrepian subjects—is dangerous.
I finally managed to communicate with mine. I was late with one of the goats this morning, and it suddenly started speaking perfect English. These Obrepians are scouts. They were looking for promising planets for ENSLAVEMENT and MATERIAL EXTRACTION (not acronyms).
However, over the past few weeks mine has discovered that it would rather eat six live goats a day. Apparently mainstream Obrepian society frowns upon consuming meat, but planets are fine. Anyway, as long as the goats keep coming, the fleet will go on believing that Earth is 97% thallium.
ArgonneGuarav at 11:42
You get six goats a day?
BevAtSandia at 11:44
To whom am I speaking?
ArgonneGuarav at 11:45
Sorry, meant to write ‘Yours gets.’ Sometimes taking care of DA means not enough sleep. I know—it’s all part of the deal.
BevAtSandia at 14:23
Not true. I’m the Deputy Director of Exobiology. I know we all work in shifts. If you really are missing sleep, Guarav, then I suggest cutting back on your peekaboo time.
LosAlamosLou at 15:07
Wow, Bev, six goats. You pamper your LO more than you’ve been letting on! To be honest mine hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbow nebulas lately. I think DA is discovering its sense of agency—I know what’s right for LO, but it wants to call the shots. Do you think going from five to six goats a day might help?
ArgonneGuarav at 15:09
Wise words, Lou. I’ve been noticing the same, especially when it runs out of goats. I think seven or maybe even eight would be best. Our LO’s are growing, after all. Not sure that I have the budget for eight grass-fed goats, though.
BevAtSandia at 08:56
Fine. You win on the acronyms. But is it not obvious that these are adult Obrepians? They aren’t growing (check the scale built into the quarantine chamber’s floor), and I’m fairly certain their ‘sense of agency’ are fully formed. What intelligent species would let babies fly spaceships?
LosAlamosLou at 11:54
BevAtSandia at 08:57
Ignoring the last comment. My Obrepian said in perfect English that it had initially planned to harvest the planet. Did either of you read that part?
ArgonneGuarav at 15:35
Bev, congrats on your LO’s first words! I’m so sorry I missed that. Things have been hectic here. DA threw a big temper tantrum when I told it no more goats. It really broke my heart to put my foot down like that.
LosAlamosLou at 15:40
I know what you mean. We’re supposed to set rules and stand by them, even if it means making LO unhappy sometimes. But what if, sometimes, LO really is hungry for more goats?
ArgonneGuarav at 15:43
Exactly. It’s not like DA is going to turn into a horrible adult because of a few extra grass-fed goats. It’s too bad they’re so expensive, especially the ones from Safe Meadows Farm. I don’t know how many more temper tantrums this quarantine chamber can take. The last one had our radios going wild.
BevAtSandia at 11:27
Guarav, are you still playing peekaboo with your subject for multiple hours a day?
I should hope so! LO and I start off every day with ninety minutes of patty cake, and then play for at least twenty minutes out of every hour. Interaction is key to developing cognitive and motor skills. Not that you need any more excuses, Guarav!
ArgonneGuarav at 16:26
Lately I even play by myself—in the shower, at dinner, in the car. If DA wants more peekaboo, who am I to hold out? If only I could say the same for goats.
BevAtSandia at 13:03
We’ve determined that Obrepians have multiple modes of communication. Apparently, humans of a certain temperament are receptive to more than one of them—you both already know this, I’m sure.
We (the governments of Earth) would like to avoid the attention of the Obrepian fleet. We therefore do not want to provoke more ‘temper tantrums’ or any other variety of electromagnetic emission from our Obrepian guests. As a gesture of good will, I have negotiated increases in both of your budgets to allow for up to ten grass-fed goats from Safe Meadows Farm per day.
Lou and Guarav, I wish you both all the best in this new chapter of your lives.
ArgonneGuarav at 15:23
You’re an inspiration, Auntie Bev! Us new parents have to remember that, no matter how crazy our lives might get with work and family and geopolitics, LO ALWAYS comes first.
LosAlamosLou at 15:29
Bev, you are a wonderful mother. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Your LO, your three boys, and the remaining inhabitants of this planet are all very lucky to have you.
Josh Taylor was born in Baltimore and now lives in France. His short stories have appeared in Electric Spec, Metaphorosis, and The Penn Review. Website: https://joshbtaylor.home.blog/