Today. In the car.

The kids were all buckled in when I ran out to the car, tea sloshing everywhere, shoes only half on. I sat down in the midst of an argument that went something like this.

Cordelia: Mom.

Me: (searching for keys) What?

Cordelia: Tell Leo what boogers are made of.

Leo: Candy.

Me: Not candy.

The Little Redhaired Boy: See?

Leo: Rats.

Me: Boogers are made of dried up snot, skin cells, dust, pollen, street dirt, in your case: dog hair, and lots and lots of germs.

Leo: Well, that’s not so bad.

Cordelia: Mom!

Me: What?

Cordelia: Tell him that you can’t eat boogers.

Me: Oh. For sure, Leo. You can’t eat boogers.

The Little Redhaired Boy: SEE, LEO?

Leo: But boogers are so good! And sometimes I get hungry.

The Little Redhaired Boy: If you get hungry, then you can eat bugs. Lots of people all over the world eat bugs all the time. 

Leo: Really?

The Little Rehaired Boy: Yes. So next time you get really hungry, just find a spider. Then eat it.

Cordelia: Or a worm.

Leo: Can I eat grasshoppers?

Me: Sure, but you should first ask its permission. Grasshoppers are terribly fastidious and won’t be eaten by just anybody. They will want to know whether you have brushed your teeth lately, and will likely inquire as to the state of your nails. They will want to know if your room is clean and if your toes are free of jam and if you have recently washed the dishes.

The Little Redhaired Boy: My room is clean. I can totally eat a grasshopper.

Leo: I’m fastidious.

(pause)

(pause)

Leo: What does fastidious mean?

Cordelia: It means “not Leo”.

Me: You should be careful of grasshoppers, though. While they are reputed to be delicious, they are also terribly clever. A grasshopper might convince you to build it a new house, or give it the PIN to your bank account, or buy it a rocket ship.

Leo: Grasshoppers like pins?

The Little Redhaired Boy: They use them as swords.

Leo: ON GUARD!

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