I was out visiting them on the west coast recently and we spent a quiet night on the couch playing with their diaper-clad, chubby-legged, wide-eyed son Malcolm. We took turns rocking him, yanking on his toes, and holding him above our heads like Simba. To return the favor he giggled and waved his arms and legs around sharply and wildly like Bambi on ice.
The evening was pretty quiet until Malcolm happened to let out the giantest burp I’ve ever heard from a baby. It was a long and deep gut-clearing belch that was part tugboat, part T-Rex, and all class.
After the burp Malcolm’s emotionless, slowly blinking eyes didn’t seem particularly impressed but Mike got right into it. “Ladies and gentlemen!” he began, like a boxing announcer winding up the crowd. “We have a newwwwwwwwww … champion-of-the-world!”
Cuddling the Bald Burper on the couch, Mike went on to excitedly explain how Malcolm was constantly setting new records for himself. “We hit longest sleep recently and biggest dump was about six months back,” he said, putting his floppy-sweatsock feet up on the coffee table. “Haven’t seen a diaper that full since.”
Sure enough, these Guinness Book accounts of Malcolm’s record-smashing ways got us all talking about how setting a new record for yourself in anything is great. It feels like a small victory, like passing a little test, it feels like learning more about you, like pushing into that new personal best.
After all, there’s the longest speech you’ve given, there’s the most games you played, there’s the longest drive you’ve driven, and there’s the best catch you made. And although these white-ribbon finishes aren’t always surrounded by cheering crowds, flashing cameras, and newspaper headlines, the truth is that doesn’t matter. Because when you set a personal record you can whip out your personal notebook and make a personal note.
“Giantest burp ever.”