Millie's favorite book by far is called "Hide and Seek on the Farm," but we just call it "Little Goat." It's the kind of book you expect to find in the bargain bin of the Big Lots in Johnson City, TN.* Even though it is a story about the adventures of a little GOAT, the cover of the book is just a giant drawing of a COW. That's because babies prefer cows to all other two dimensional farm animals, (it's the contrast!) a fact which the publishers of "Little Goat" knew quite well. The character of Happy Cow appears on every page, and delivers what Millie considers a show stealing performance.
|Happy Cow, oh how I loathe you.|
I am not exaggerating when I say that we read this book to Millie at least 20 times a day. She is a mess without it, which is why, on a recent family road trip, I made sure to pack little goat and happy cow along in our bag.
After the first leg of our journey, we arrived at my sister's house in West Virginia at 1:00 am. Surprising no one, Millie awoke feeling refreshed and ready to play at 6:30 the following morning. In order to prevent her from rousing the rest of the household, I took her downstairs and placated her by reading Little Goat continuously for several hours. Millie sat in my lap, pointing at/joyfully drooling on the pictures of Happy Cow. It was on our 5th or 6th reading of the horrible book when Millie became distracted by something. Nay, DELIGHTED by something. I lowered the book, and saw what had gotten her attention. We were face to face with my sister's curious, soft, and BLACK AND WHITE kitty. Millie looked at me with pure ecstasy on her face as if to say "Mom, HAPPY COW IS REAL!"
|Co-Worker Kitty, AKA "Baby Monster," helpfully sleeping on some documents.|
The result was a perfect storm of cuteness. Millie reached out and stroked the kitty's head. The kitty accepted this snuggling serenely, knowing that anyone who was petting her would be wholly unable to file her expense reports. "Gah!" Millie said to the kitty. "Bow before me, pitiful human!", the kitty replied. This adorable interaction continued for several minutes, until my coffee kicked in, and enough of my brain awoke to try and videotape it. This of course put an abrupt end to their playfulness. Millie went back to
Fleeting though it was, this experience has taught me several valuable lessons about parenting:
1. God Help us when Millie discovers PANDA BEARS.
2. Get the video camera out before you start the pot of coffee.
3. "Coworker kitty" would make for a very interesting children's book.
4. "Coworker Kitty" would make for an even better internet meme.