When You Are Last on Your Child's List of Favorites
When my son loves something, he loves it immediately and abundantly. One of my greatest pleasures is watching other people react to my son’s greeting: He beams. He sometimes belts out a spirited “Ayyyy!” like a tiny Fonz. He waves — not just a hand, but his whole arm. And if the object of his affection doesn’t wave back, he waves both arms, just in case there is a failure to understand how waving works. Often, mid-wave, he’ll crane his neck around to look at me, as if to say, “Do you see what I’m seeing? Isn’t it amazing? This, right here, is my absolute favorite thing.”
Pork Chop is 16 months old, and everything is a discovery. Everything is a wonder. What must it be like to experience each moment, each person or thing as some kind of happy magic? More importantly, what must it be like to be that person or thing, to be fantastic, to be adored?
I wouldn’t know. I’m his mother. Each morning, when I scoop my son from his crib, I’m greeted with “Dada!” then a confused stare and then, “Dada?” On really special mornings, he smiles, points to my boobs, and says, “Milk!” It doesn’t matter that breastfeeding ended a month ago; Pork Chop never forgets old friends.
If I had to rank my son’s great loves, judging only by his enthusiastic greeting (and I did have to rank them because I needed a new blog post), this is how it might go:
1. Stuffed Elephant. An inanimate object covered in my son’s snot and spit.
(I think the saying goes: “If you love something, eat its face.”)
I think the saying goes, “If you love something, eat its face.”
2. The Dog. Couldn’t care less about my son.
3. His Dad. Okay, this choice is possibly legit.
4. His Own Reflection. Good luck with that, anyone who ever dates my kid.
5. The Trash Truck. Yeah, I get it. It can eat trash. But so can I.
6. A Banana. Any banana.
7. Airplanes. Kind of cute, except for the staring directly into the sun part.
8. Strange Adult Men. We’ll figure this one out in therapy some day.
9. His Pediatrician. The same one who jabs him with a needle.
10. Whatever I’m Eating. Tostitos and hot coffee are pretty good.
11. A Cell Phone. Because of buttons.
12. A Rock. To bite.
13. Fire. Obviously.
14. That Weird Grocery Store Cashier Who Coos at Him for an Uncomfortably Long Time. Because I’m in a hurry.
15. Sock Monkey. A known floozie.
(I don’t think that’s even legal.)
16. His Babysitter. To be honest, I’m pretty damned excited to see her too.
17. A Bottle of Saline Nasal Spray. Um?
18. The Dark Corner at the Back of His Closet. Choosing not to delve too deeply into this one.
19. My Boobs. Not creepy. Yet.
20. Mom. Hey, kid, just as long as I’m somewhere on your list, it’s alright with me.
Failing to strike it rich as a poet, Jessica Rapisarda succumbed to motherhood, humor writing, and snack chip addiction. She blogs about parenting, guilt, and other redundancies at Welcome to the Bundle. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.