Sunday, April 3, 2011

Living with Gusto

One thing I admire about LO's babyhood is his commitment. This is not a child who does anything halfway. If he is happy, he not only smiles open-mouthed and from ear-to-ear, but he also shows his joy with his entire body. He flails happily. His knees and toes are smiley. His happiness parts the clouds above so that the sun can shine more effectively while the angels sing.

On the other hand, if he is miserable, there is no one in the greater Lafayette area (and sometimes, no one within Indiana and the Chicagoland area) who is unaware of that fact. His screams rend the air and sunflowers droop on their stems. People find themselves weeping without knowing why. It's agony.

So what we have here is a child incapable of subtlety, white lies, polite discretion, or other socially acceptable methods of dealing with others. In other words, we have a child pretty much just like his mother. Oh, dear.

A recent example:

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that 2010 was rather a momentous year for J and EGB. We both quit our jobs. We left Columbus, Ohio. We moved to Lafayette, Indiana. We bought a new house. J started a new job with Caterpillar. We failed to sell our old house. We had a baby. I started working from home as a freelancer. LO drooled and puked a lot.

The long and short of it is that our taxes are rather more complicated than my limited patience stores are capable of handling, and TurboTax online is less effective when you've thrown the computer through the window in frustration. So we've engaged the services of an accountant.

The entire B family traipsed over to the accountant's office earlier this week after J got home from work. She was charmed by LO, and spent quite a bit of time enjoying his overwhelmingly charming smiles. But once we got down to business, LO made it clear that he was ready for a top off, despite having already eaten 4 o'clock High Tea (including the crustless sandwiches and clotted cream so necessary for the enjoyment of that meal). I've now gotten comfortable enough with my role as beverage dispenser that I can nurse him in (semi-private) public without undue embarrassment, so I threw a blanket over us and let that bad boy go to town.

This was the point in time when the accountant was frowning at the computer screen in concentration, and there was no one else in the office. In the quiet, my living-with-gusto child's delighted slurps at Mom's Kitchen sounded, in J's words, like a slushie machine working overtime. The accountant was kind enough to pretend she couldn't hear.

There are good and bad sides to living each moment to the absolute fullest. (Believe me, I know!) On the one hand, I know that this child will not be able to lie to me effectively. (I can't keep a secret to save my life. Really. Try me.) But loud and enthusiastic nursing is only the beginning. What horrors of embarrassment are awaiting LO's ability to speak? Will he, like my older sister, ask non-family non-friend individuals if they have penises? (This was not recent. She was 3 at the time.) Will he, like me, fall asleep suddenly and directly into a bowl of spaghetti? (I'll let you guess how recently that happened.) (Considering his current conflation of eating with sleeping, I suspect that is more rather than less likely.)

On the whole, I really do love the fact that LO does everything with all his heart and soul and might. While there are times when I wish he could tone down the cries of anguish, I'm willing to take the good with the impolite slurping. The world could use more individuals who are incapable of hypocrisy. Even if it means they can cause flowers to droop on a grand scale.


  1. Sounds a lot like Lucy... if so, you may find this book very useful around age 3. :)

  2. Linzey, thanks so much for the recommendation. Considering the description from the book sounds just like me as a child, it seems likely that LO will be a similar animal. I'll definitely pick up the book.

  3. It was a sanity-saver for us!

  4. For the record, not only was I three, the man had very long hair.