I AM ONE YEAR OLD AND THIS IS WHAT I THINK NOW

By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
 Copyright © 1997-2010
All Rights Reserved



          The world is moving faster in the right direction. I am certain of that because I am happy. When I am happy, it must be because things are doing well. I am not aware that things are not doing well here in Detroit where I live. I guess everyone must be shielding me from negative realities so that I can remain a happy one year old child. Since there is little I can do about it, that is probably a blessing. Do people who are adults tend also to believe things that are ridiculous, or is it just us one year olds?

          My folks are planning my one year old birthday, but it is for them and not for me. Not one of my friends from nursery school has been invited. It is to be an affair at which everyone adores me as I play with my gifts (or rather my presents – I can play with my gifts when I get older). I must content myself with that kind of planning for now. When I am old enough to have a say in things, I will tell them that I would appreciate my pals more than their pals. Why are adults that way? Do they think that if they invite my friends to my birthday party that they will be accompanied by their parents who are not previously vetted for social suitability? Geez! Gimme a break! How bad could they be? And if they are “funny”, well, it’s just for my birthday party for a few hours.

          Mom did put a request on the party invitations that there be no presents, as I am lucky enough already and really don’t need more toys. But of course no one believed it was sincerely meant. They thought it was just some insincere social posturing to honor the times we are in, and none of them wished to appear to be the only fool who thought they meant it. Consequently every one of them brought a present. Maybe my folks are smarter than they seem, and believed that the best way to get me lots of presents was to put “no presents please” on the invitation. Hmmmmmm….

          Mom baked beautiful cookies for my birthday party, and Grandpa Seamus took a half dozen of them home with him to show Belinda and her mom who think that people from up north have no culinary skills. He told me that he got them all home in one piece except for one. He took a picture of them just in case he broke them all in transit. A real belt and suspenders approach if you ask me.

          Grandpa Seamus flew up the day before, and of course he cooked every meal for everyone the whole time he was here. He also did all the grocery shopping and bought all the wine, as he usually does. He taught me some things and I learned too little of what he taught. Among the best are how to get back down stairs that I have just climbed, without breaking my neck, and some ridiculous songs using lyrics that a one year old can pronounce. Have you ever heard the theme from The Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor sung using only the lyrics Nee Nee Na Na Noo Noo?

          It was supposed to be a combination birthday and baptism, but tragedy intervened. Grampa Bill had a huge heart attack (whatever that is) and we cancelled the baptism. We will reschedule it when everyone can attend and be happy. Grandpa Seamus was very sad that Grandpa Bill was sick, as he really likes him a lot, but, on the other hand, Grandpa Seamus was happy that my baptism will be rescheduled for a day that does not include a two hour service because it is the day before Easter and the church has some long winded Easter vigil service touted as an ancient Anglican ritual. Grandpa Seamus said that since the Anglican Church isn’t ancient, he had trouble accepting that the mumbo jumbo long winded falderal could be ancient. Maybe now you can appreciate why everyone loves him so much. His logic is penetrating. There were some other reasons for postponing my baptism too, but I am not currently aware of them.

          I have no idea what baptism is all about, but it seems to be a big deal to the grown ups. Grandpa Seamus promised to tell me all about it later, and said it has its beautiful side and its ridiculous manipulative side. I don’t know what that means either, so I guess it is better to let that conversation wait a while. I suspect than Grandpa Seamus has some rather cynical views on how churches use religious rites for manipulative purposes. I wonder how old I will have to be before he lays this material on me.

          On the day Grandpa Seamus arrived, we went to a spiffy Lebanese restaurant for lunch. At the next table was a very sweet, well dressed three year old blonde, blue eyed girl I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. My high chair was turned the wrong way so that I had to crane my neck to see her. Grandpa Seamus noticed this and turned my high chair so that my back was to my own table and I was facing her table. This was great. Her father acted like he didn’t understand what was going on, and he wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation. Grandpa Seamus used his notorious sense of humor to straighten out her father, and all went smoothly thereafter. I wasn’t able to get her telephone number before they left, and Grandpa Seamus suggested that it was because I had not brought along any jewelry. He urged my mom to keep several articles of inexpensive jewelry in my diaper bag for those social occasions in which smiling, saying gibberish and drooling just fail to get the job done.

          Grandpa Seamus and I had some serious conversations about the suggestion that I should attend college at Notre Dame University. He thinks it is a great idea, as he and Belinda have visited Notre Dame and think it the most beautiful campus in the mid west and a wonderful place to get a good education. He and I do have a few concerns. For one thing, it is obvious that my enchantment with the fairer gender will have serious implications later in life, and that I expect to be very socially active amongst them as I grow beyond puberty – whatever that is. He suggested that I should at the very least, get a waiver of Notre Dame’s no birth control policy as a condition to my attendance there. The problem, as I see it, is that it will not be possible to obtain a formal waiver of the no birth control policy. We can’t just go up to some cardinal or arch bishop and say, would you mind signing this no birth control waiver in favor of our friend Gunnar. So the assignment would have to be carried out with clandestine finesse. Thankfully we have time to think about it. I know that if I were a really good football player they would waive everything.

          In the meantime, I now have teeth and can eat just about anything. Consequently, I am enjoying Grandpa Seamus’ cooking more than ever. Mom is freezing small containers of it for future use after he goes back to Texas. I especially enjoy his rice and beans, although people say that after eating rice and beans I can peel the paint off the wall with flatulence. Grandpa Seamus says he gets a big laugh about the way I get this far away look and grunt just as I am about to let one go. That’s his signal to watch everyone’s face as the cloud engulfs them. That is another bonding experience between us. Soon we will coordinate so that we can both do it at the same time. A certain look passing between us will be the signal to put everyone else in the room to flight.

          After he returned to Houston, Grandpa Seamus told us that it was like re-entering heaven to get home again. The Bougainvilleas and Hibiscus are aflame all over their garden. The kitty cats gave him the cold shoulder for a while as punishment for his going away, but by the next day they were their usual affectionate kitties, right after he handled some of the morning feedings. Somehow, the smell of breakfast in his kitchen soothes all reservations about congeniality, even amongst the most aloof of house cats. His first full meal preparation will be Saturday dinner and he is making Fasolia Plaki me Kreas, a traditional Greek evening meal that he adores ever since his first evening in the Plaka of Athens. He gets to go grocery shopping at Phonecia today, his favorite store in the world, recently selected as one of the top ten gourmet stores in America by Saveur Magazine. Fresh baked puff pita every day; Dodoni Feta cheese; fresh lamb at reasonable prices; Tilda Basmati rice in large bags for less than domestic varieties; and so many other things from central Europe and the mid east and India that just the aroma of entering the store is worth paying a fee to experience. The owner of the store is a very gentle and brilliant Armenian businessman, and he and his family who are just like him run one of the best business models on the planet according to Grandpa Seamus. His other favorite business model is Spec’s wine shops where the world’s best wines are available for at least 45 % less than they sell for in Michigan. He says that even groceries in Michigan are at least 50 % more expensive than in Houston, and he should know that from grocery shopping here for the last two weeks.

          My decision to publish this memoir right now is to perpetuate a recollection for when I am old enough to understand what I have just written. I expect that by the time I no longer need a ghost writer there will be a significant compendium of my memoirs on www.SeamusMuldoon.com  in the Gunnar Chronicles section of The Muldoonian Approximations to which I can easily refer for my personal delectation. I hope Grandpa Seamus comes back to visit soon.

 

 

 


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