Dinner. Tonight. Canned soup. Crackers. Cold cereal for desert. Best dinner conversation in possibly the last 2 years.
Dan was at a meeting. I managed to find some canned soup that was less than 2 years past its Best-By Date. I warmed it in the microwave and we sat down to chow. Each kid counted out 10 Better Cheddars to eat with their soup. Laylee thought it was okay to eat but not much to look at.
Magoo thought it was disgusting unless I fed it to him spoon by spoon like a little influenza patient from the olden days where influenza would likely kill you if someone didn’t sit by your bed spooning broth into your pie hole.
“I want to eat it like a robot,” Magoo began. “Robots are really smart and they can look like they’re made out of bottles.”
“Oh yeah?” Laylee chimed in, “Well pigs are really really smart. I’m gonna eat my crackers like a pig.”
Both kids started snarfing crackers like a couple of rabid hogs and I let them with some bland statement about how I was glad they weren’t doing that in front of anyone else because we at least wanted to pretend that being a Thompson meant you had polite table manners. I’m not sure if they heard me over the snorting, chomping and laughing.
I’ve been a little nostalgic lately about the fleeting nature of childhood and putting up with perhaps more than I should because seeing little kids and imagining that I’ll soon be done with them makes me a cry a little in public sometimes. I can chalk the public crying up to being pregnant and no one seems to mind, especially since they don’t have to witness what kind of heathen dinner habits the crying leads to once I get home.
I told Laylee I didn’t think pigs were really that smart. Besides Wilbur, I told her that I thought most pigs were kind of dumb.
But she knew different. Ms. Sweetsie had read her a book about pigs in kindergarten and how they were creatures of untold genius. She said she wished she had a brain like a pig.
“But I’m a robot,” argued Magoo, seeming to say that the two could not coexist at the same dinner table.
I continued to feed him and he continued to talk about robots between bites.
Laylee said that pigs were so smart that they could probably use their hooves (she illustrated these by clamping her hands into tight fists) to pick flowers in the meadow if they wanted to. She mimed the action of picking flowers sans-phalanges.
“That’s why I want a pig’s brain.”
“Do you like the soup?” I asked.
“Yeah. It’s great.”
“It’s good if you chew it like a robot.” Magoo demonstrated what mechanical soup chewing would look like.
“If it were ever really cold in the winter and my hands froze until they were black and we had to cut them off so I had no hands at all, I’d need to have a brain as good as a pig so I could still pick flowers in the meadow.” Again she mimed the two-fisted flower picking. “That would be really cool.” Slurp.
“Yes. That would be very fortunate,” I responded.