When I was in college, my buddies and I had a system for determining which women (we met in bars) were attractive and which ones were not. It was a very scientific, well-thought out method. Einstein would have been proud. The formula was as such: “Time of Night” times “Amount of Alcohol Consumed” divided by “Need for Companionship” equals “X”. (X) = Cuteness Factor. For example, a ”9:00pm -Oh, hell no!” could (with time, alcohol, and “need”) become a “12:00am – She’s cute.” I remember a few nights when friends took home girls who started as a “10:00pm – I think that’s a dude” but became a “1:30am – Her lazy eye and limp are sexy.” Luckily, when I was in a bar, I played by The Kenny Rogers’ Rule: You gonna know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. I always felt that it was better to walk away early than to try and chew off my own arm the next morning to escape.
Now that I’m older, wiser, and a parent – I’ve been wondering if the “Cuteness Factor” can be applied to my own children.
Several nights ago, Garrett began to cry at 4:15am. Usually, I would chalk this up to a nightmare or maybe he got his foot stuck between the bars of the crib. I assumed that he would be fine given a few moments. But he wasn’t. He continued to cry…and cry…and cry…and cry. At 4:30, I went in to get him. I changed his diaper, checked to make sure that he was in one piece, and then I returned him to the crib. Once again, he began to cry…and cry…and cry. At that moment, the reality hit me that I had to stay up with him.
Together, we got a drink of milk, played with his toys, rough-housed, had a little more milk, watched television, sang songs, read a book, rough housed some more, and then I made him an early breakfast. As we sat on the sofa, I looked over at him to see if his “cuteness factor” warranted my lack of sleep. I looked at his giant head, his pudgy legs, his mop of curly hair, and the drool and snot that was rolling off of his face. He turned to look at me while I was staring at him. He smiled….and then, he burped and farted at the same time, looked very surprised, and then laughed out loud.
Yup – he’s “4:30am – Cute Enough for Me!”