William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Admiration Maternelle [Maternal Admiration]
Oil on canvas, 1869
Some wisdom from Susan Sontag’s Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947–1963
- Be consistent.
- Don’t speak about him to others (e.g., tell funny things) in his presence. (Don’t make him self-conscious.)
- Don’t praise him for something I wouldn’t always accept as good.
- Don’t reprimand him harshly for something he’s been allowed to do.
- Daily routine: eating, homework, bath, teeth, room, story, bed.
- Don’t allow him to monopolize me when I am with other people.
- Always speak well of his pop. (No faces, sighs, impatience, etc.)
- Do not discourage childish fantasies.
- Make him aware that there is a grown-up world that’s none of his business.
- Don’t assume that what I don’t like to do (bath, hairwash) he won’t like either.