EVENT 1 – BOY
“AMMO! AMMO!” He screams at me like a drill instructor that’s seen it all. “AMMO!” And like some noobie cadet, I rush around the kitchen pointing at different things, trying to decipher his non-sensical baby language. “Do you want juice?”
“Do you want milk?”
“NO MILK! AMMO!”
“Do you want water?”
“NO WA-WA! AMMO! AMMO! AMMO!”
Panic sets in. Whatever strange cryptology he’s using, I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to decode it. His demands become more insistent and my nerves start to shake. “What if I can’t find what he wants? What will he do to me? Will he just start screaming? Oh, God! Please! Please, God! Don’t let him start The Screaming!” I pray.
“Elmo!? Do you want Elmo? How do you even know who that is?! You want Elmo?” Jesus-God, please let it be Elmo.
He wants a gun. I don’t know why. “Ammo? You want ammo? For a… gun?”
“NO! AMMO!” He’s been screaming this for two days now on and off. “AMMO! AMMO! AMMO!”
I break down in tears. I drop to my knees. I throw my fists to the heavens and I scream, “I don’t know what you want! Just…… point at it!” and the little man stands on a chair and leans waaaay over the counter, into the fruit bowl and lifts up a green apple and says, “Ammo” and I say, “Apple?” and he says, “Ammo” and I say, “That’s right, buddy! Apple! That’s an apple! Good job!”
He eats it whole, like a man.
EVENT 2 – GIRL
Balut. Lutefisk. Kopi Luwak. Strange foods are consumed the world over, ranging from the modestly weird (prairie dog; Texas, Southern folk and poor people) to the extreme (rotten shark meat; Iceland) and I am simply convinced that my daughter is turning into a connoisseur of flavor. When she was younger she used to find lint on the floor and spend long periods of time staring at it and poking it around before shoving it in her mouth and eating it. “Yeah, but she was just a baby. Babies do that” you may be saying.
Sure. Sure. And you’re probably right. I just hope that’s the same reason she’s constantly tasting pennies, nickels, dimes, rocks, socks, toys, floor tiles, screw driver handles, dog food, paper, people skin, Tobasco sauce and month old french fries she finds on the car floor. Here’s the thing… I don’t think this is a weakness. I think it’s a natural bend and who am I to stand in the way of my child flexing her creative muscles?
She wants to adventure and explore her culinary sensibilities. GO FORTH! This morning, after The Boy had “finished” his apple, he threw it on the ground, only to be found hours later by The Girl. It’s white skin had oxidized into a deep brown color not dissimilar to fudge. Truth be told, the apple was already a little old… so there’s that… but the little chef didn’t care. She carried that nappy Granny Smith around with her, sucking the life juice out of it all morning. I gagged twice when she smiled at me with the soft brown flesh smeared over her teeth but again… who am I to stand in the way of a learning experience.
I hope that someday, when The Girl is back-packing alone through Italy and munching on Casu Marzu (Sardinian Maggot Cheese) or while she’s visiting Vietnam with her husband on their honeymoon and eating Tiet Canh (Blood Soup) that she’ll think of her dear ol’ dad and say a little prayer, thanking the Good Lord above for encouraging her to experience life to it’s fullest very early on.
PS. Kopi Luwak pretty much amounts to poop coffee.