Never feed plums and chocolate-covered coffee beans to a seven-month-old baby.
The result, Amy was learning, is explosive.
Amy had been on the phone putting out fires. U was upset because she felt that Amy's new-found positivity, together with her budding whatever-it-was with Charlie, left U little room to "be there" for Amy at this crucial time. In other words, U felt like Amy was shutting her out just when she should be accepting her help.
Amy's mother, Grace, meanwhile, had finally got around to reading the title of the book Amy had given her. Grace was offended. Did Amy think she was a bad mother? Did Amy think she didn't listen? Was Amy saying that for 26 years her mother had got it all wrong? Was that Amy's way of saying thank you?
While Amy was distracted, Carmen decided to play mother and feed baby Bartlette some lunch.
Carmen chose plums because they were yummy. And she chose chocolates - she didn't know they had coffee beans inside - because she could reach them. Amy felt guilty for not putting them away. Still, Bartlette hadn't choked on them, and in spite of the dark sloppy poops, Bartlette was as chirpy as a box of birds, pleasantly wired on her first caffeine high.
Fortunately, it was a slow day on the Charlie front. Amy had adopted a maddening indifference approach. By not calling him, she would naturally increase his interest in her and in any help she might offer in his quest to find his child. Her apparent lack of interest would spark him into action. Absence would make the heart grow more curious, if not fonder. All she had to do was wait.
In the meantime, Amy read more of the book by her friend, the Dalai Lama.
Not surprisingly, she discovered that he also believed in the value of personal PR. The Dalai Lama had his own version of attitude adjustment therapy:
First learn about the positive value of the practices, then build up determination, and then try to implement them. At the beginning, the implementation of the positive practices is very small, so the negative influences are still very powerful. However, eventually, as you gradually build up the positive practices, the negative behaviors automatically diminished.
As you build up the positive, the negative is automatically zapped.
That was a cool idea.
That was a strong attitude.
Bartlette's bottom sounded again. Amy winced and even Ferguson ran away from the smell. Amy lifted her daughter up and saw the poop had escaped the diaper. Blowout.
Another day, Amy's patience would have snapped. But today, the irritation came and went. She let loose a long sigh and felt surprisingly calm.
"Let's clean you up, little girl," she said. And she did.
(more to come)
For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a serial internet novella which tells the story of the romantic redemption of Amy Franklin. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally. And, as you probably noticed, it's all free.
The chapters are short. So it's easy to catch up.
READ EARLIER POSTS (just click on the one you want)--
Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.
I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven
Follow Steven Crandell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stevencrandell