I’ve done the math. It doesn’t quite work. The boy is seven and a half months old, but he’s wearing shirts made to fit a nine month old. He is wearing pajamas made to fit a twelve month old. He’s just a baby, but as you can see in the image above, he is already practicing what it would be like to be a straphanger, with a long subway commute.
The contents of an eight-ounce bottle vanish in seconds in the boundlessness of his hunger. If you weighed him, the scale would register 21 pounds, but if you carry him for more than 15 minutes, even in a cleverly designed Swedish device, he becomes as heavy as a truck, his mass multiplying as though he were influenced by another planet’s gravity. He reaches at least 75 pounds in 15 minutes, and 200 pounds in 30 minutes.
Then there are his lungs, smaller than a couple of softballs, but from them he can produce sounds that fill a baseball stadium. He has few words, most dominantly mama, dada and yaya, but he uses this limited vocabulary to get just what he wants. ( He keeps asking for permission to eat furniture or suck on rocks, adding in extra yayas and more mama to his request. Not working.)
It seems like every day we buy a large armload of organic green beans, cook them up, and put them in the blender. Then they whirl into a tiny puddle, a miniscule green blob of nourishment, that fits into a tiny baby jar. They are quickly eaten by the baby. Then we buy another armload and the same thing happens. The math doesn’t work for me.
He is small, but he has the presence of a giant. When he is carried into a room of people, floating either in our arms or in a clever carrying device, it is as though royalty has entered that room, a Kennedy, a Clinton. The force of a baby’s tiny personality is paradoxically huge. At the baby’s most subtle invitation, everyone in the room to will start saying bo bo bo bo, making funny faces and rolling around on the floor.
What is that all about? When it comes to life force, you just can’t do the math I guess.