Papa Zesser Sells Out (Letter #032)

Mama Raven photographs toddler baobao in full winter regalia.

Tripping the ads (not so) fantastic

Dear Baobao,

Well, Papa’s done it now. Though this site is a labour of love, meant to provide you with a personal history that (Mama and I hope) will interest you at some point in the nebulous future, creating and maintaining it takes both time and money. I had hoped that my Ko-fi account (it’s not too late, gentle readers!) might lead to some “tips”, but so far that hope has been in vain.

Ain't nothin' like foreign singles, eh?
Ain’t nothin’ like trawling the internet for “foreign singles,” eh, Baobao?

Anyway, those reading over our shoulders will perhaps have noticed something new: a honking big ad just below the main menu. It changes with every refresh, of course, but somehow an ad for a dating site featuring a stereotypically “hot” young white woman looking into the camera while displaying mostly bare legs and sporting a pair of fuck-me heels brings into focus exactly why I didn’t want to go the ad route in the first place. (See screenshot, above.)

But here I am, hoping to take a few crumbs from Google’s groaning table in order to pay the bills. (Presumably, there is a way to tweak the kinds of ads that get into rotation on PapaZesser’s blog; I’ll look into when I get a chance.)

Meanwhile, on the personal front, you continue to be my pride and joy, if you’ll forgive me the completely applicable cliche.

Baobao and I examine the early stages of the latest project by the firm of Baobao and Vandelay.

Mama and I are wondering when you’re going to start actually speaking (not to mention: which language will you start speaking first? We’re both betting on English, as you get it from both of us, but Mama speaks Cantonese to you a lot, and your comprehension of it seems to be just as good as it is for English), but meanwhile what you understand astounds me.

  • Respond to complex sentences? Check.
  • Do you make conceptual associations? Oh, yes. Car? Car-seat!
  • Use gestures to get across complex ideas? Yes again! An example: On Tuesday afternoon, I was pretty tired and at one point let loose with a big yawn. You immediately turned to the couch, made a sound, and started patting the pillow at the head of it, indicating that I should lie down to take a rest! (And yes, I took you up on the offer for a few minutes.)

So, let’s add thoughtful to the list of superlatives.

And also, boldly creative!

Here is a video shot on January 6th. It’s more than five minutes long, but as it provides an almost complete record of a toddler building a rather remarkable tower, I think it’s worth watching — even if you’re one of our guests, and not Baobao herself (or her parents).

The second was shot only yesterday, January 20th, 2021, and it’s just a brief bit of fun. Me, I think I’ll re-watch ’em both.

Until next time, I remain,

Your loving Papa Z — Ottawa, January 17 – January 21, 2021

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