EVENT 1 – BOY
I sling my purse / man bag over my shoulder, snatch my pecan flavored coffee off the kitchen counter, drop my phone into my back pocket and am officially ready to head out the door for my commute to work… just one thing left to do.
I head over to the table where both kids are eating their breakfast of various kinds of fruits, berries, bagels with cream cheese and a delicate portion of milk. I stand behind my son and bend down over his shoulder so we’re almost cheek to cheek and I say to him, “Rory, daddy is going to work now. I love you. Can you say, ‘Love you’?” and he stares at me and says, “Wuv Oo” and, while his inflection isn’t quite right, I know just exactly what he means. I say, “Give daddy a kiss,” and I turn to him and that’s when I notice the crumbs…
No… “crumbs” is an inaccurate term. The bottom portion of his face is covered in wet pieces of fruit, chewed up berries and some kind of unidentifiable grain. A menagerie of multi-colored liquids drizzle from his mouth, down his chin, creating a long string of ooze dripping into large pools on his lap. The bottom hemisphere of his head looks like someone threw a bucket of hog slop at him and he just let it fester. Calling him a “Messy eater” would be an insult to messy eaters.
I’m lost in my thoughts, wondering just what the heck some of those pieces are. What IS IT? Where did it come from? I imagine my lips pulling back involuntarily, showing that “Gross” look that people have when they see someone on Fear Factor eat a thousand year old egg. Then I’m suddenly shaken out of my daze when he speaks. “Wuv Oo” and I smile. And then he puckers his lips and I remember I asked for a kiss…
I have one of those “Does it make me a bad parent if I ignore him?” moments.
“Wuv Oo”. He puckers bigger. He starts to lean in… and like a girl on a bad date, I dodge at the last second and kiss him on the forehead. Give me a dirty diaper. Give me poop and pee. Give me vomit, blood, pus and bile. Give me blisters and splinters and all forms of wounds. I will deal with it. But I never signed up for Fear Factor. There’s no reason I need to eat the thousand year old egg.
EVENT 2 – GIRL
I turn to my daughter, who is also eating at the table, albeit a bit more lady-like. Granted, she still has smashed red berries all over her fingers and blue berry juice on the front of her shirt and her chin does have some milk on it but she truly is considerably more in control of her meal. I stand behind her, wrap my arms around her little body, bend down so that we’re cheek to cheek and I say, “Alright, Quinnie. Daddy is going to work now. I love you. Can you say ‘Love you’?” and she does. “Wuf Yu!” and I say, “That’s right! I love you too!”… and then I notice she’s eating something that looks like a giant wad of paper towel.
What concerns me the most is that A.) Quinn has a penchant for eating things that aren’t food and B.) I actually caught Rory eating a paper towel the previous night.
I say, more rhetorically than anything, “What are you eating?”
Instead of answering, she simply reaches her fingers into her mouth and pulls out an enormous piece of soggy bagel, displaying it proudly for me.
Okay, then. Case closed. At least it’s not a paper towel.
She sticks the soppy wad back into her mouth and I wave goodbye as I’m walking out the door.