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Showing posts from November 4, 2012

the user illusion

When I stick the biberon in poor Adam’s mouth, quieting his protests (at having to face another day scanning this strange planet, perhaps) and getting him into the rhythm of sucking down formula (yes, Le Leche league – we are incorrigible half and halfers. Wanna make something of it?), I have a long time – or at least a couple hundred gulps of time – to study his face. It is interesting how many people like to tell you that the expressions mean nothing – just a galvanic movement, a tropism. While we all recognize the cry and even grant it some symbolic status – cry equals pain – the smile, or the laugh, are definitely secondary properties, or so the common wisdom goes. Pain is fundamental, humor – which requires a minimal capacity to compare and contrast – is second stage, and if you live long enough, it will be jettisoned and there you’ll be, back to crying and peeing in your bed in some old folks home. Yes, we orbit around pain, our black sun, and smile first as a trick of syn

Bringing up baby

Already I am dealing with it, the tug between convenience and integrity, between Satan and taking up, in a manner of speaking, your cross. Yesterday, we finally concluded that, evidently, Adam had grown beyond being palliated by a finger. When he wanted to suck, he no longer could be palmed off with a cuticled succadeneum. So I came up with the idea of a sucette - pacifier, which on the best child rearing authority (i.e, The Simpsons) has a tonic and calming effect on the wee one. Thus, I sortied out in the dusk last night, and visited several pharmacies until I found one for the 0-3 months set, as the package helpfully advised. Coming back, I was eager to plug it into Adam’s mouth, figuring child rearing would now be a snap, what with the enormous docility that would flow from the thing. The thing. Indeed, in the plain light of day, a pacifier is a rather disgusting thing. A pulpy plastic nipple that looks as appetizing as wet newspaper, attached to a band of plastic