Monday, October 10, 2005

from the mouths of babes

There are certain sacrifices a parent has to make for their child that tells me I'm just not ready for motherhood. One of them is the fact that children aren't allowed in bars. At least in the state of California. My friend found this out the hard way when he dragged his two year old into a martini bar and was booted to the curb. Come to think of it, maybe he's not cut out for parenting either. I mean, who buys their kid martinis at the age of two? It's clear though that we need to seriously come up with a better system where you can check your kid at the door like a coat, or at worst, affix your kid to a parking meter out front like a bicycle or puppy.

But aside from this (and the mindnumbing amount of fecal matter involved in childrearing) I have to admit that hanging out with a child can be pretty damn enlightening as I realized this afternoon babysitting for my friend. We ate pasta shaped like elephants and angels and then as we were lounging around, shooting the shit, philosophizing about the emotional complexity of penguins, she looked at me and said "Auntie Minsuh makes me happy." Aw shucks. I was feeling pretty special at that point, almost bursting at the seams with the kind of joy a parent might feel basking in the unconditional love of their child, until she cruelly extinguished any such illusions by saying in the next breath, "And the crab makes me happy and the fish makes me happy too!" Referring, of course, to the paper crab and the paper fish that were glued onto the wall. Stiff competition indeed.

It seemed like only moments later that I once again fell prey to her diabolical wiles when she handed me something stuck to her finger and said innocently "What's this?" I don't know, what was it? I took it from her, rolling it between my fingers, noting that it was white and slightly sticky. When I asked her where it came from she said matter-of-factly, "My nose." Doh! Foiled again!

What I learned from this experience in pretend child rearing was this. First, all adult food should be served exclusively in recognizable and entertaining shapes. Next time I pay good money for a steak dinner I want my plate fixed up to look like Fenway park. Spinach would make a great Green Monster. Is this really asking too much? I also realize that when you go head to head with a child, the real victim will generally be you. Don't be misled by their feigned innocence, their effortless laughter, their penchant for being tickled, for they are in fact little dominitrixes who just happen to wield crayolas instead of whips. Don't be fooled.


helcho said...

Well said. Needless to say, I got Laura into a bar in Chestnut Hill at the age of 9 months and she was sipping some margaritas with her mother. Maybe if you decide to get knocked up, you should move back here. Liquor and child rearing works very well. Also, you are ALWAYS welcome to play pseudomom to my child. Love your blog and miss you.

minsuhson said...

haha. i would expect no less from you. maybe i will have to move back to boston, clearly a more civilized place than l.a. where i can be liquored up all the time with a kid in tow. one of the saddest things about moving away? not getting to know laura...

MB said...

just stumbled in here and what do you know? a post that hits home.

my 3 year old son asked my wife to "tickle" his "balls" last night.

helcho said...

Yes. I do feel that you should have stayed to get to know Laura and root for those damn Red Sox. What were you thinking moving out to the sunny West coast as the 9 months of winter approaches.
I'm sure that it won't be long until Laura decides to give me a present from her nose.