I saw Drew Gardner in passing tonight, at Peter Gizzi’s reading at the Project, and he thought I should share the story of how I almost didn’t make it out of the apartment. Not an hour before I expected to be on my way, I was seated at my computer and felt a familiar pair of small hands on my leg. When I looked down there was my son wiping his hands on my pants and—they were covered in, how can I say it, he was cleaning shit off his hands with my pants. Phoebus Apollo! (Exeunt; roar of a bath and howls of the offended child, not to mention the howls of the offended mother.) How did that happen? Later his father asked him, “Jake, did you take a poo?” and he boldly stuck his hand down the back of his diaper. There was my answer.
At least he spared the sofa, already a sour sponge of dried milk and peanut butter; in fact from a housekeeping point of view cleaning himself on me was the least worst option. From the psychoanalytic point of view … well, Mr. Gardner seemed to find a wealth of metaphor in this little tale, which I don’t wish to overburden with analysis.