Booming Voice That Sounds Like It Might Be a Robot: Ladies and Gentleman, live from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, welcome to the First Annual Baby Parent Oscars!
The first two rows are graced by an astonishing A-list of new-ish parents: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Tyler and Halle Neyens, Jake and Lauren Harris, Ruth and George Katumba. Everyone is dressed to the nines, makeup and hair on point all around. The next several rows are filled with parents of older children, parents who don’t have babies but are there because they are legends, because they’ll always be invited: Chip and Joanna Gaines, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Ken and Liz Horrom, Betsy and Ed Cambridge. The event has no host; Frankie Muniz’s since-deleted childphobic Twitter rants and the ensuing controversy have ensured that.
POSSIBLE ROBOT VOICE: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome two-time parents, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.
DAX and KRISTEN appear, walking gracefully towards center stage to loud cheers from the audience.
DAX (into microphone): Parenting is one of the toughest, and most rewarding, experiences in life. You think you have things figured out until a little one graces your space, and nothing is ever the same.
KRISTIN: There’s nothing more humbling than your daughter insisting on dressing up as Elsa for Halloween year after year.
DAX: Hey, I loved that costume!
Audience laughs politely.
DAX: The next award is the One Year Award, which goes to two parents who survived their child’s first year of life. This year’s award goes to Matt and Kendahl Cambridge!
Camera cuts to the front row.
MATT and KENDAHL look each other in the eyes, kiss, and are patted on the back by John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, who are sitting next to them. The audience is all standing now, and Panic At the Disco’s “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is playing in the background. MATT and KENDAHL hold hands as they ascend the carpeted steps and are handed the golden statues by DAX and KRISTEN.
MATT (into microphone): Wow.
KENDAHL: I can’t believe this is happening. We…
MATT AND KENDAHL are temporarily drowned out by more cheers, the crowd still on its feet.
MATT: First of all, thanks to the Baby Parenting Academy for this award. To even be considered is an incredible honor. I want to thank this woman standing right next to me; you are an amazing person and the best mom Chloe could ever ask for.
MATT steps out of the way and motions for KENDAHL to step in front of the microphone. She does.
KENDAHL: I want to thank our parents for showing us the way, for the support you have shown us, and for the unconditional love you give to Chloe. It means everything.
The camera cuts to Ken and Liz Horrom and Betsy and Ed Cambridge, all of whom look teary-eyed and a bit buzzed.
KENDAHL: I’ve been blessed to have some amazing moms in my life who are just a little further down the track, women who who gave us advice, let us borrow baby items, and prayed for us: Elise Mantey, Sarah Gregory, Erin Genua, my lovely sister Jennie Cope. Thank you for paving the way for us. To all who have taken the time to watch Chloe for us so we can have some semblance of sanity: John and Theresa Timm, Mike and Genna Barajas, Tyler and Halle Neyens, Lauren and Jake Harris. Gosh, we’re probably forgetting someone! Please let us pay you back soon, and let’s continue on this incredible parenting journey together. I want to finally thank our birthing instructor Riannon Mendoza for teaching us so much, for helping me to recognize what a superhero I am, and to my wonderful husband next to me who was the best coach I could have asked for.
MATT (stepping back in front of the mic): Finally, we want to thank our little Chlo-Bear who should be asleep right now, the little girl who made us parents one year ago. You are the light in our world, the greatest adventure we’ve ever been on. Even though you took the full year to learn how to sleep, we would do it again a million times ov—
KENDAHL: Wait, where is Chloe right now? You got a babysitter for her, right?
MATT: I thought you…
There are murmurs across the audience.
KENDAHL: Matthew… what did we…
The audience’s murmurs grow louder. Music begins to play in an effort to drown the murmurs out. It doesn’t work.
MATT (trying to save face, smiles): Thank you everyone! God bless!
MATT and KENDAHL, despite having criticized every other award recipient for doing it, frantically begin walking the wrong way and are awkwardly pointed in the right direction by DAX and KRISTEN before running off the stage. The lights go down as chaos ensues.
Matt Cambridge (’12) is a new dad to Chloe, husband to the beautiful Kendahl, and a human resources professional at Boeing. He lives in St. Louis and enjoys eating Hershey’s kisses, riding roller coasters, and watching the latest stand-up specials on Netflix. You can read more of his work at laughcrythink.com.