All right, Penny. Here's how it's going to be. Some ground rules.
It was "Basil" until a couple weeks ago, by the way. Now it's not. I'm fine that it's not. This way, we don't have to worry about explaining to our parents for the thirtieth time why we're not calamariing your tapir nose. (Digging feces out of your infant vagina? Yes. Calamariing your tapir nose? No.)
It's less fine with the wife, maybe. You get told enough times by relatives moonlighting as armchair mystics that you're going to have a girl because the bones say so, or because your pee's a little oranger, or because ol' Luna was obscuring Mercury and you were riding reverse cowgirl on the night of conception, and you start to want to have anything but a girl. Just to show 'em.
But you're a Penny and not a Basil. Your mother still loves you. Probably not as much as I do, but still. I mean, she doesn't even want you watching Silver Spoons. How is that love? (Don't worry. You and I will watch the shit out of that shit.)
We're supposed to be talking ground rules, though. Here's a couple:
No Santa Claus. No Easter Bunny. They're a bunch of hooey. That said, I'd be totally cool with letting you live that lie. Unfortunately, your mother wants us to be open and honest with you. Never mind that you'd probably shake with joy the moment you saw the half-eaten oatmeal raisin cookie Santa left as evidence of his having dropped in the night before. Never mind that your mother delights in the systematic sucking up of all the joys and wonders of childhood. At least she'll be able to sleep at night knowing she hasn't lied to you.
(Here's a little secret: Santa only takes one bite of those oatmeal cookies because they're dry and terrible.)
Honesty. Unwashed fistfuls of it. Your mother wants this for you, so I guess that means that's what we'll be giving you. My stripe of honesty will be something like hers—except that where hers is designed to crush your spirit, mine is designed to make you a better and stronger person.
So here's some honesty:
Your parents are world-class fucking geniuses. It's statistically likely you'll be one, too. Don't let it go to your head. You'll probably suck at most things, and will be teased relentlessly for it. Genius isn't worth much of a damn. It's just another thing—like strength, dexterity, constitution, wisdom, charisma, armor class, et cetera.
You gotta be modest, Penny. Unmodesty won't fly in the Watkins-Besalke (Besalke-Watkins?) household. You have a head start on this front, thanks to how humiliatingly dirt-poor your parents are. Also, I've been shouting occasional belittlements at you through your mother's belly to prepare you for how meaningless your existence will be to anyone but us. I feel pretty good about it. You should, too. Belittlement puts hair on the chest.
You want more truth? Fine. I'm tall and your mother's short, so you should be somewhere in the middle. I was a month late coming out and your mother was a month early, so you should come out right on time. Your mother's pits stink and mine smell divine, so your pit stink should be neutral-ish. Basically, you're looking at an MOR sort of life. Hope you like Josh Groban.
By the way, don't make fun of people for liking Josh Groban. People like what they like. You don't have to be a douche about it.
Speaking of life, here's something that sort of blows: you're gonna die. Hope it's cool I'm telling you now. I figured it out when I was four, and I cried for two solid weeks. We're talking crying of the heaving and rattling variety. I cried so hard I made myself cough blood. That's right. You can cry until you cough blood. Welcome to having a body—for seventy or eighty years, if you're lucky. Then everything about you that makes you you will cease to be, and your family will have to figure out what to do with the carrion that was you.
You probably won't get seventy or eighty years. Your parents aren't physical specimens. We're fucking geniuses, not triathletes. Not that triathletes live that long. They're lucky if they can keep their hearts from exploding before they're sixty. Bodies in general suck. Thanks to modern medicine and sedentary lifestyles, we've been able to make the body last way longer than it's supposed to. Our bodies clearly resent this, and do everything they can to punish us for not allowing them to expire in timely dignity.
You'll be more than ready to die by the time your body has its last blowout on the pain-strewn road to nothingness. That's the gift we've given you, Penny: inevitable death. Remember that. We're the assholes who, by virtue of having created you, caused you to have to die. We love you, all the same. (Again, I probably love you just a little more. Don't hold this against your mother, though. She's the one farting you out in four months.)
Sheesh. Look at the time. I don't think I got in as many ground rules as I would've liked. I'll leave you with a big one: as long as we skip the Straczynski episodes, we can watch as much She-Ra as you'd like. His episodes are ponderous and tedious. He's a smug, self-important self-promoter who philosophizes with all the depth of a stoned teenager, and he keeps pissing all over perfectly fine comic properties. That said, you should check out his Murder, She Wrote work. "Night Fears" is an OK episode. Lansbury (pro that she is) overcomes its base Straczynski-ness.