Saturday, May 03, 2008

Adult Conversations, Toddler Shenanigans

I. How many conversations have I had over the last couple years where my attention is split, about evenly, between what my fellow conversationalist is saying and what Abby is getting herself into?

Talking with Jason tonight, I found our conversation wonderfully emblematic of this early stage of parenthood. Abby and Sean happily playing at our feet while both of us took turns putting our conversation on pause while we told our respective toddler that toys were not to be thrown and stairs were for walking down, not playing on. You're not a referee really, but something close. Parental responsibility demands some measure of your attention be given over to that creature, that Mary Poppins with a little bit of monkey in her (as I've been calling Abby lately, much to her approval) and whatever mischief they're up to. At this age, they're ripe with shenanigans. Your job, then, as a parent, is to constantly negotiate the space your toddler is in--what's possible within it and what's not.

II. Listening to The Meters' 1974 gem, Rejuvenation, some fine gumbo-pop funk and a perfect way to keep my thoughts on good friends enjoying the soggy fairground fields (it's been raining) of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In his ArtsBeat coverage for The New York Times, Jon Parales posted this gem today:

In a conversation with Quint Davis, the producer and director of Jazzfest, he mentioned a startling statistic. One of the festival’s marketing surveys found that people who visit Jazzfest for the first time return as regulars for the next five years. That’s serious recidivism.

Funny, because just yesterday I posted about my own five year Jazz Fest run from '96 to '00. I'm looking forward to boosting my recidivism rates in '09.

That's Abby in the accompanying photo above, sporting a hat I bought from a vendor in Congo Square.

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