Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Zombie Toes and Pickle Muffins

Critter made mac and fromage with tuna for dinner tonight, one of her yummy favorites. I believe this is partly due to the fact that she puts the tuna juice on tiny plates for the kitties to lap up; any excuse to give out a kitty treat! I am still uncertain how the cats know that this can contains tuna and not any of the other cans we open for various other meals. They came running from all over the house.

We ate in the living room, her barefoot and in pajamas, me still in my work clothes. She spread her toes wide as she ate, stretching them far apart and then squishing them together again. “I can’t do that,” I said.


“Spread my toes like that. They all stick together. I can only move my big toe.”

“I can’t move my big toe except with all the others. Or up and down.” She demonstrated her flexibility against the hope chest.

“You know,” I mused, trying to insert a science lesson in, “in about 40 or 50 or 60 thousand years evolution will completely change our toes. We’ll have one really big toe and no little toe on the end.”

She frowned. “But I’ll miss it.”

“Honey, you won’t be around to miss it. It’s just how evolution works. There will be a time when people have little itty bitty stubs at the end of their feet and one really wide big toe.”

“But I want to keep it,” she whined.

“But you’ll be dead,” I whined back.

She adopted her serious, adult posture. “No, I’ll be a zombie walking the earth and I’ll say, ‘Where’s my little toe.’”

I nodded. “Yeah, zombies are always losing body parts.” She reminded me that her two best friends would be by her side to pick up any missing extremities and that she would hold onto their missing bits, too. “You are going to be such a good zombie friend,” I said.

“Yeah, I know,” she answered. I helped her bring dishes into the kitchen and began loading the dishwasher. “Have you tried the orange muffins yet? They’re really good.”

I shook my head. “No, what do they taste like? Really orangey?”

“Well, sweet. You know, like when you eat a pickle…?”

“Are you telling me that these muffins taste like pickles? Is that a way to not get me to eat them? ‘JewelGeek, these muffins taste like four or five pickles. You’d love them.’ And I’d have to turn them down since I don’t like pickles and there’d be more for you.”

She smirked. “That’s not what I was saying! I meant that I had a pickle just before eating the muffin and for a time they tasted sweet just like pickles are sweet. But the muffin did not taste like pickles!”

I laughed. “Oh? Did I just put words in your mouth? Can I have them back?” I reached for her mouth with my dishpan hands.

Critter stuck her tongue out. “Blech! There you go!”

Despite all the little arguments or disagreements that happen with being a teenager and a parent, it’s these encounters that I’ll cherish years from now.