From the mouths of babes

I’d rather be thin than famous,
I don’t wanna be fat.
And a woman throws me outta bed, callin me Gordo,
and every time I bend to pickup my suspenders from the davenport floor
I explode loud, huge grunt-o and disgust everyone in the familio.
I’d rather be thin than famous,
but I’m fat.
Paste that in your Broadway show.

–Jack Kerouac

At the rate that I’m eating, however, I have a better chance of being famous than thin. Last night I made Szechuan Noodles with Green Beans and Cashews from what is fast becoming my favorite cookbook. Per the title of the cookbook, it’s a simple recipe that comes together with just the right amount of spice, texture, and surprise–the cool of the cucumbers–to make it delectable.

Too delectable, as it turns out. Although we were hungry by the time it was ready–8 p.m. or so, which is not that unusual with a newborn around–neither of us was famished. Until we started eating, that is. We were as bad as Barky; we just could not stop eating these delicious noodles until we were able to do nothing more strenuous than lay on the couch and groan at each other.

Unfortunately, there was still much to do, like feeding 3B and taking Barky for a walk. The former wasn’t too difficult, since it didn’t require staying vertical for any longer than it took to retrieve 3B from his swing and bring him to Mama. The latter, however, required a great deal of effort: first there was standing up, then there was bending over to put the leash on Barky (which put several buttons and seams throughout my wardrobe in peril), then there was the walking around.

It was a typical, late-summer evening in Northern Virginia, so by the end of the walk I had sweat out enough water that it seemed I wouldn’t have to use paramedics’ scissors to get my clothes off. (I know, gross, right? But what a relief that was.) But I had exploded some loud, huge grunt-os along the way, as my knees buckled under the weight of my distended belly. Those noises, however, were nothing compared to the cacophony that rose up after we returned home and attempted to go to sleep.

First, let me say about 3B that he can, at any time, fart as loud as though he’d shut down a kegger the night before. There is still some debate over which side of the family this trait comes from, but I think I’m fighting a losing battle on this one, since his belches seem similar to my operatic expressions of love for eating that often follow my meals, and the Philosopher Queen has determined that what goes up must be the same thing that goes down, ergo the farts come from the same side of the family as the belches–mine. I digress, however, because the farts weren’t what was keeping us awake last night; it was the grunting.

Usually, the grunting precedes some gaseous or other emission from 3B, or is a protest against the inhumanity of swaddling, but there are times when the grunting is an end unto itself. Bedtime last night was such a time, but just briefly. After the grunting was done, Mama and I thought that we were safely on our way to Slumberville when 3B and Barky started performing their Fine Whine Concerto, which consists of alternating, wheezing exhalations from the opposite sides of the bed on which they sleep–3B on Mama’s side for quick access for night feedings, Barky on my side as payment for my past sins. It was all we could do to not laugh out loud to keep from waking either of them.

Eventually they reached the dramatic cadence, which consisted of a few final grunts from 3B accompanied by Barky’s mouth-closed, half-volume baying along with his paws-and-claws-on-crate-bars percussion, and we were all able to get to sleep.

Epilogue:
This morning I read this Editor’s Query in the WaPo about when a child said something freakishly grown up that made me grateful that all we have to deal with at this point is the grunting.

  • Great. 6 year-olds talking about sex. I might as well lock the Peanut up in her room now!

  • If we ever get down to VA to visit you, we can have a body sounds orchestra.

    Rebecca’s abdomen is apparently much more voluminous on the inside than it appears, if you go by the amount of gas she can emit.

    Plus, we have a cat that can snore loud enough to be heard in the next room.

    Except for the cat, I blame it all on Papa’s side of the family!

  • Baby sounds are the best. I can’t wait.

    Cleo, the Diva Kitty, sings her nightly concerto once all the lights go out in the apartment, for usually 10-15 minutes. Between her and our future kid, we’ll be in the same position as you. And I think it will be a blast.