Friday, August 12, 2005

Little guy

I've started calling Pete "little guy" with increasing frequency as he gets older and seems less like a baby and more like, well, a guy, but little. All along, I noticed that I was saying "little guy" with an inflection that wasn't quite my own. This little strangeness carried connotations of great fondness, but I couldn't figure out why the phrase came out of my mouth the way it did. Then it hit me: I've been quoting Marge Simpson calling Bart her "special little guy," as she does when she wants to mark an uncommonly tender moment between them. This instance is one of many in which I've recognized myself having unwittingly quoted comedic sources--about 40% of what I say comes verbatim from Steve Martin's early albums--but it's the first evidence that my son is, in essence, being raised by a cartoon character.

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