Friday, August 9, 2013

Little Goat, Happy Cow, and Co-Worker Kitty

Our daughter is a great consumer of literature. I say that literally, because she tries to physically INGEST the books we are reading to her.  One time, I was reading "Goodnight Moon" to Millie, and she insisted on licking each page before we could move on to the next one.  I figured, what the hell, at least she's participating. 

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.

Children's book, Cow
Happy Cow, oh how I loathe you.
*Our friend Emily works near the Johnson City Big Lots, and likes to impulse shop on her lunch break.

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.
Now, one thing you should know about this situation is that my sister works from home. Her cat considers herself Kelly's coworker, and diligently sleeps on, bites, or snuggles with any book, paper, or excel spreadsheet Kelly may be working on at the time. When she saw us reading a book, she knew it was her duty to get closer and see if she could nap on it.

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 reading eating her book, and Baby Monster went back to washing the spot where her testicles would have been, if she had testicles.

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.

lol cat meme, I can haz confurence call?

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