It only took eight months, but Simon finally took an interest in Timothy. But it’s not in the way you would think. He could honestly care less what Timothy is doing; he needs to know where he is and what I am doing with him. The reason is simple:
Simon has a baby.
Two days ago, he adopted an old Elmo doll whom he has named “Baby”. He takes really good care of his baby, too, when he isn’t carrying it around in a clear vinyl backpack or seeing how many flips in the air it can do. I gave Simon one of Timothy’s long-outgrown newborn diapers, which is ridiculously too big for his baby, and today he spent three hours with his baby in the high chair, feeding him cans of black beans and evaporated milk with a medicine cup. If I’m walking around with Timothy, Simon is usually right there behind me with his baby, rocking and patting him on the back. When I was busy with the fire this morning, Simon sang lullabies to his baby and told me that I needed to stop tending the fire in order to sing to Timothy, too.
Ever since the adoption was final, though, Timothy has lost part of his identity. He is no longer “Timothy” but my baby. Simon asks,
“Where’s yer baby?”
“Are you nursing yer baby?”
(I wish you could hear the way Simon speaks; we’re convinced he was supposed to be a Swede since all his yours are yers and he has that herdy-gerdy lilt that reminds me of Cousin Sven on Ren & Stimpy.)
Anyway, Simon nurses his baby. It’s true. He lifts up his shirt and sticks that Elmo doll to his chest, but not without comments about my…you know. Yesterday, he was try to figure out what they were called and he was saying,
“I have little ones. What are doze things on yer belly?”
I hesitated and then answered him:
“Oh,” and here he pauses to think. “You have big boobs!”