Not Max, our now five month old son, doesn’t get a lot of face time here at A Free Man. This accurately reflects his position in real life, squarely in the shadow of his older brother. Boy Z walks and talks and runs and throws and hits a cricket ball and thus earns far more than his fair share of paternal attention. Not Max eats and sleeps and cries and soils himself, thus earning himself the occasional paternal grumble and not much more.
It’s not that I don’t like the boy, it’s just that he doesn’t do much.
Dr. O’C has recently, and rightly, begun to point out the inherent unfairness of this situation. Whenever I enter a room, Not Max turns to me and sprouts a big baby smile. One which typically gets ignored in favor of whatever Boy Z is doing at the time. On an academic level I know that it isn’t a good idea to play favorites. But on a practical level, I have a limited amount of time on the ground at home and figure that I should dispense it where it is most valued.
“He’s going to spend his whole life trying to get your approval, Chris”, I’ve been chastised on more than one recent occasion.
Well, as someone who spent a fair bit of my teenage and young adult years in a quest for paternal approval, I could relate to that. Therefore, I’ve been trying to improve the quality of my interaction with young Not Max. It’s getting a bit easier as the boy has added rolling over and laughter to his repertoire.
But he still hasn’t featured much in the space. So, in the interest of reducing future therapy bills, I wanted to give Not Max a blog post in which he featured as a main character. On the rare occasions that the boy gets hot and bothered and it isn’t about food or sleep, the best way I’ve found to make him happy is music. Preferably loud and preferably with paternal vocal accompaniment. Recently we introduced the tried and true door frame bouncer, which offers an extension of our musical appreciation from listening to active participation.
Ah, let me just show you.
Without further ado, here’s your Not Max in his first starring (or at least co-starring) roll:
I would just like to point out that I didn’t choose “Copacabana”, it just came up randomly on my iPod. Truly.