Month Three: Gonzo Parenting
So, here’s how reading time in the Goldfinger house went today. I read the twins a picture book about a neon pink bird who makes friends with a purple hippo. By the end of the book, I’m telling the kids – “If you ever see any of these animals in any of these bizarre colors, something is not okay. Call a nature doctor. (Yes, a nature doctor, that is their official title.) Because either the animals are very sick or you are on drugs. And you’re probably out wandering aimlessly in the Nevada desert. So you should just call mommy and she’ll come pick you up. Don’t worry, you won’t get in trouble. Just call, collect. You can call collect. It’s fine. Especially if you see the elephant from page two wedged in the back of a Cadillac convertible waving at you to join him for a ride, resist the temptation. Just call Mommy. Collect is fine. Or text. Or transmit an IM through the microchip implanted in your brain. Whatever mode of communication is in vogue at that point, please use it.”
Thinking about the twins’ current perspective of life, these surreal books make sense. Their everyday experiences must be a lot like an acid trips described by Hunter S. Thompson. With little understanding of cause and effect and no object permanence (object permanence is the understanding that things still exist when you cannot see, smell, touch, or sense them), their perception of their lives must be a collection of fractal experiences where people and objects appear from nowhere and for rarely any reason at all. In their world, hippos can be purple, teddy bears are alive, and a landlocked little boy can escape to a land of wild things by sailboat. While I find my more cynical adult self being jaded about, and sometimes hypercritical of, Babylandia, I also love being a part of their mystical, magical world.