How much money do you need before you smile?
Our second born, Monty, is nearly two months old and he’s started to smile.
Don’t get me wrong he’d started to smile before this but not for the right reasons.
Up until now I’d put my face quite close to his and sing, “Minty, Monty Moooo, Minty, Monty, Moooo” and I’d get a look from him that suggested, “What’s wrong with this guy?”
Then on the odd occasion I’d sing, “Minty, Monty, Moooo, Minty, Monty Moooo” and I’d get a smile.
I’d brighten up, believing it was my superb singing that had made him happy until I’d witness his face changing colour, from a red to a deep purple.
This would then be accompanied by a bit of straining and some gurgling noises, coming from the nappy department.
It’s a bit of a disappointment realising it was his bodily functions forcing a smile, rather than my musical genius.
Fortunately me being an adaptable lyricist I’d just add the words, “Minty, Monty, Mooooo are you having a poooo?” and it would work out ok.
Then last week I sang, the now familiar “Minty Monty Mooo” and he started smiling again. So I added the extra lyrics and waited for the straining and nappy filling but it didn’t happen.
He was just smiling.
He was smiling at me and my song.
This is the first time this has happened.
Up until now he’s just cried for food and now here we are, 6 weeks on and his brain has developed enough to accommodate a sense of humour.
He’s discovered and expresses happiness, whereas before he only knew unhappiness.
Now he knows his basic need, hunger, will be met, he’s moved onto to a higher developed function, humour.
I thought about this for a bit and realised I could learn something from Monty.
In Monty’s world the only currency that has any worth is milk. It’s essential to his survival. This is a very much like adults with money.
If we don’t have enough money to take care of our basic needs like food and rent then it impacts happiness but once they’re covered, there’s no reason why even the simplest things can’t make us smile.
This conforms perfectly to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Monty only needs a certain amount of milk to be happy.
If I started piling bottles of milk up next to him, to show him how much milk he has, it wouldn’t make him any happier, he only wants as much as he needs.
So the lesson here is, once you have enough money to take care of your basic needs, all you need to make you laugh is a simple idiot like me, shoving their face in yours, singing, “Minty, Monty, Moooo, Minty, Monty, Mooooo”.