Tom and I are currently neck and neck in the “Who’s The Biggest Goonball?” competition. Parents who are over the age of forty and are raising their last or only child know how to play “Who’s The Biggest Goonball?” So for those of you who don’t know how or why the game is played, I will explain.
The why we play part is simple. We play “Who’s The Biggest Goonball?” because we love Laura like she’s the last child we’ll ever have, in large part because she’s the last child we’ll ever have. I’m sure of it. When Laura was about two, I asked Tom to really consider whether he wanted to have another child before my biological clock ticked its last tock. I mean fair is fair. I have three biological children, but he has only one as he is the adoptive father of Kristen and Courtney. I really wanted to know if he felt that his life would be lacking in any way absent another child of his loins. Tom said in his typically succinct and persuasive manner, “Don’t get me wrong about this. I really love our kids, but I don’t want another one.” And then he convinced me utterly and my uterus let out an audible sigh of relief when he added, “I’m tired all of the time, and you do most of the work.” Wow. By those words, Tom’s wonderful and well-chosen words, my propensity to blur the line between motherhood and martyrdom was cast in a new and esteemed light and I was forever relieved of the duty to further procreate. See why I love him?
For the record, just because Laura is our last child does not mean we love the first and second any less. We have all the documentation to prove that we were Goonballs with Kristen and Courtney too. I kept records of the cute things that they said and did back when Kristen and Courtney were little, and cute, and lived with us. Of course, Kristen and Courtney’s doings and sayings were not documented in a blog, but rather in something from those happy golden days of yore called a baby book. And when they got too old for baby books, I kept all of the keepsakes and memorabilia from their days of school and sports teams and extracurricular activities in Rubbermaid® storage boxes. Now Tom and I have little garage space of our own because we are storing all of that stuff for them until they get their own garages. I used to take tons o’ photos of them too, but rather than digitally store them on my computer and share the photos on blogs, CDs, and emails, I put them in albums, like good mothers did in ancient times. And we used to dress Kristen and Courtney up in festive holiday outfits and have their photographs professionally taken, which photographs can still be found gracing the furniture and shelves in our house. But now Kristen and Courtney take umbrage when I ask them to don frilly dresses and pose with a giant bunny rabbit or a perv in a Santa suit. To see just how Goonballish we were when Kristen and Courtney were little, you’d have to come to our house and look through boxes of stuff and albums of photos. With Laura, our Goonball methodology is blogged for the world to see.
So how do we play “Who’s The Biggest Goonball?” now? I can think of a couple of examples. One that comes immediately to mind, because we do it everyday, is pillow and pajama sniffing. I wonder what our next door neighbors would think if they were ever to look through the window and see us taking turns holding Laura’s pillows and pajamas up to our noses. They smell absolutely heavenly. Maybe this is just me competing for Biggest Goonball, but I’m convinced that Laura’s drooly pillows and pajamas, which have the faintest scent of her lavender lotion lingering on them at all times, would be objectively and empirically determined by scientists in a laboratory to be heavenly. Then there was the recent occasion when Laura dropped the tooth she’d lost the night before in her carpet, somewhere, she told us, between her bed and her bathroom. We searched all through the carpet with our bare hands. Then Tom used a wide-toothed comb and I used a pasta server. We raked through her carpet for the better part of an hour to find that precious little bit of enamel. We were devastated when it did not turn up, but we decided not to vacuum her carpet until it was found. Every now and then one of us would see the other down on his or her knees, separating strands of carpet fiber until the day that quite by accident I felt something hard with my little toe when I was making Laura’s bed. Voila! It was the tooth. Tom and I squealed with delight. Then we held hands and jumped up and down and all around in little ring-around-the-rosie-type circles like the Goonballs that we are.
That, my friends, is how we play “Who’s The Biggest Goonball?” around here. And now you also know why it is that these days we mostly play it with Laura. Kristen and Courtney prefer a monthly check.