Loving a Goat

Unlike what the title might imply, this is not about goat fucking. I do not visit rural areas to scratch an itch or loiter menacingly around petting zoos. Rest assured livestock owners, my pecker is not going anywhere near your peckers. That's just fowl. In my wildest dreams, I cannot imagine writing about goat fucking. I'll leave that to Edward Albee, who in my humble opinion, is the best goat fucking writer there is.

My friend says children are either goats or bunnies. The goats being demanding, non trusting, cranky and rude; the bunnies, cuddly, gentle, agreeable and easy-going. Our six year old, Sebastian, was a bunny baby. Loved people, traveled well, ready to offer an easy smile. Our two year old daughter, Maxwell Pearl, is a goat through and through. She whines, moans, cries and screams seventy-five percent of her wakeful day. "No" explodes from her mouth like artillery much more frequently than "yes," only to be outnumbered by "Idonwanna!"

She is frustratingly independent. She has to do things herself and is reluctant to ask for or accept help. This is a bitch if she's failing at the task at hand, because invariably she'll scream. But God help you, if you offer assistance without her asking, she'll just scream louder.

Michael and I were unloading groceries yesterday and Maxie was running around naked, which is her wont. She entered the kitchen holding the end of a long strand of toilet paper, about twenty feet I'd say. We both watched as she went over to where, unbeknownst to both of us, she took a dump. Although unsanitary, in this instance her independence worked in our favor. She insisted on cleaning up her own mess.

Maxie started school this week. And as I dropped off my cloven-hoofed child on her first day, it crossed my mind she might cause such a caterwauling we will be banned from every pre school in the LA area. But I underestimated my little girl. She has a sense of propriety. Her carrying on is for in house only. Lucky us. Rather than scream, Maxie's independent spirit kicked in. So she wouldn't have to share, she handed me her thing-in-hand. She then turned and walked away without looking back. No tantrum, no kiss goodbye either. My strong-willed daughter.

And I warn you cooers, if you approach my girl expecting an infectious smile or a coy head toss, you will be disappointed. One of two things will happen. Either she will pretend you do not exist, looking off in the distance. Or she will cut her eyes at you, the likes of which I haven't seen since teaching special ed high school students in inner city Brooklyn. "Who the fuck do you think you're looking at?"

Is she persnickety because she's the only female in the house? Because she's the second child? Because we saddled her with the name Maxwell Pearl?

There are days when the goat is left behind, she leads with a throaty laugh, and is just plain goofy. I cherish those moments. But for the most part, terrible doesn't cover the twos Maxie Pearl experiences from day to day. They are treacherous, even torrential.

Here comes the corn pone... I love that little girl deeply. I wouldn't trade her for a lifetime supply of sleep-in mornings and inappropriate massages. Her growth and development astound me. Her intelligence, off the charts. Her sense of humor, impish and quirky. And I look forward to knowing the woman she will become.

Last image: Maxie at Michael's and my "legal" wedding in October. Such an open face that day; full smile, eyes full of joy, an absolute bunny. I pity the fools who try to invalidate her daddies' marriage. My taciturn goat will return, and they will have to deal with the wrath that is Maxwell Pearl.


Josie said…
Such brilliant, heartfelt, wonderful stuff, Hutch. You're quite a writer - I hear the voice of it in my heart and humor as I read. I just love you! And what a GREAT pic of Maxwell Pearl. Loved and am looking forward to reading more!
xoxo ~Josie
ps- I do think there is a book in here somewhere, even if it's all the entries in order.
Kisa said…
What a great post! At turns funny and moving. I think Maxwell Pearl is a *great* name, by the way. And apparently it suits her :) (just imagine if you'd named her Daisy Willow .... not a fit.)

A late congratulations on your legal marriage. At least America hasn't gone completely bonkers yet...and at least four years of respite from morality madness should be coming up.
Heinous said…
Great post. My son must be half goat, half bunny. The rest of the world gets the bunny. He lovingly reserves the goat for us.

Luckily it's gotten to be less and less "goaty" as he's frown older. It's amazing how much we love then regardless.
Maxie Pearl is one lucky kid. Love that name. And the rabbits and goats analogy. Thank god there's plenty of room for rabbits AND goats in this world.

JD at I Do Things
Anna Lefler said…
Oh, man, I loved this post! Can't wait to read more...

Thanks for visiting my blog!



P.S. I would totally sit with you at the PTA meeting. We could cling to one another for safety.
Elle said…
Brilliant. Although I always categorized people into chickens and rabbits -- of course with endless nuance and variant... Goats work too! Hey, and thanks for stopping by my place.
sandi said…
I have been looking for new reads and I am so happy I found your blog! I am going to poke around for a bit and get to know you, but i wanted to say "hi"
Adrian said…
Very great read you have here, Uncle. I am very glad you are expressing the truth that surrounds your skills so vividly. I am also proud of you and my smart little cousin.
anymommy said…
Beautifully said. I love your style. What a gorgeous girl you have. Maybe now that I've found you, we can talk hair sometime? Never thought I'd learn to 'microbraid.'

I have a couple of three year old goats, maybe all three year olds are goats? Or maybe I should just come right out and say demons from hell. My snuggly little one though, he's still a rabbit.

Since this is my first visit - congratulations on your wedding!!
Vodka Mom said…
That was fantastic! I laughed out LOUD at your description of her "taking a dump" and WISH I could have her in my class. I have always, always said I love the spicy kids the best. These characteristics that drive you and michael INSANE, will delight and frustrate her teachers, as well as endear her to them, and will serve her VERY well as she gets older.
All I can say? Watch out!!!!!!!!!
( i love her...)
Diane said…
This is the first post of yours I've read... it won't be the last. Your little girl is gorgeous. I'm raising one myself, though I compared her to a dragon and a mouse in a post a few months ago... goat and rabbit work, though :)
Me-Me King said…
Great post! I loved the disclaimer, after reading it, I knew I was in for a ride!
skepto said…
Good story! Congratulations on your wedding!
Vodka Mom said…
you alive over here, or are the goats keeping you busy?
Dr Zibbs said…
Good way of putting it.
Anonymous said…
As a Capricorn myself I can relate. Goats are independent and tireless thinkers.
We create our own world and throw away the one that was handed to us.
We can eat anything but not what they gave us.
(F)redddy said…
Our 4yo started off as a bunny, but has transitioned to a goat in the last 2 years. Our 3 year old is the sweetest bunny ever in the history of bunnies.

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