Zen and the Art of Parenting


This dad is starting to feel a bit savvier. On what grounds, you ask? Case in point: I now know the difference, through finely-tuned observational skills, between a shudder and shiver. A shiver is oft experienced after an impromptu urination, usually in one’s pants. A shudder is discovering the texture of mushed eggs, followed by the slow, methodical expulsion of said eggs (luckily, the same way they entered). I won’t admit Baxter is fussy at this early stage; he is still capable of latching onto a variety of non-edible items, ranging from one’s forearm, to the smooth body of my guitar. So an egg-texture issue may be quickly conquered.
Slapping appears to have evolved into an entertaining skill. I am past concern for what is being slapped, instead caught in the Zen moment of the slap itself. The way the arm extends overhead, elbow slightly bent to avoid hyperextension, palm open, fingers spread, then the sudden unleashing downward to smack a surface (usually a table, sofa, window or mirror, often his thick diaper, and occasionally my face). I care less about the calamity left by the hand, the spit and food detritus, and am more fascinated and amused by the quick vibration of wrist chub as it puffs past his sleeve. It jiggles rapidly at point of impact then quickly steadies. I wonder if I can get a National Geographic film crew over with their super high-speed camera and immerse myself in the flow of the flub. That would enhance my moment of Zen.

Now if I can only be one with the ear piercing screams. I have a friend who rather enjoys the itchy inner-ear feeling when Baxter lets loose. I tried to explain that it’s distortion she hears—the sound of a mass extermination of inner ear cells. It was irrelevant; my argument fell on deaf ears. She had obviously reached a higher state of savviness, leaving me to continue my quest.

Zen Shots


Leave a Comment