GK, at only four months, has many friends. There is Satchel and Jiro, Minnesota, and her running buddy, H.S., not to mention her three siblings and a cousin. She has a big time with them and, as far as she knows, they’re all family. As much as she feels for these people, however, none of these relationships comes close to the affaire de coeur she carries on with her own left foot. She holds it, she looks at it, she can fit it in her mouth. She’s named it Lucretia, which means something to Kristy and me, but we’re not sure where she came across it. She even carries on conversations with the foot and this, I believe, is how they go:
GK: How are my piggies today?
Left Foot (Lucretia): You know I don’t like it when you call them that.
GK: What’s your problem today?
Lucretia: Your daddy put one of those things on us this morning.
GK: A sock?
Lucretia: It didn’t match the other one. Again.
GK: Sorry, he’s not very bright.
Lucretia: No. He’s not.
GK: Well, come here and I’ll give you a big ol’ smooch!
Some time ago we broke down and sought out a pacifier for GK. And when I say “we” broke down, I mean “Kristy,” because I would give my children a rawhide bone to suck on if it would keep them quiet and tone down the fussy. But they didn’t sell these at the Main Parenting Store, so we went to the Other Parenting Store, Ike’s, for sweet, sweet relief from the crankiness. She loves her pacifiers, but not on the level of her left foot. The pacifier, I imagine, doesn’t have the saltiness, the meaty feel on the gums, of a left foot. There’s no danger of dropping the foot on the disgusting floor while being held and conveyed from room to room. The foot is always with her and that must be comforting on some level, to have that security so readily available, so dependable, so very edible.
One day that left foot will be ready to perform for her, to be placed in front of the other just as the song says, and Lucretia will find her way into a shoe. It will be a stylish shoe, to be sure, and will probably, more than likely, be one half of many, many pairs of shoes. Until then, though, she can hold it and gum it and, late at night, whisper to it, When you fall asleep, I’m going to eat you up. You and your little piggies.