"When I grow up I'm going to be a dung beetle."
There is a slim possibility that the above statement is true as long as you don't accept any of the claims involved in it. So the first part that goes, "when I grow up..." has some basis in fact. The chance of my daughter hitting adulthood and somehow becoming a dung beetle hovers around the magical 1X10^-50 cut-off point. I suppose there is a chance that she would engage years of baffling plastic surgeries to become more dung-beetle-like - but never at any point actually to become a dung beetle so that coleopterists can;t tell the difference without a thorough examination of her thorax and mandibles.
Still, I did prompt this particular career-arc by boldly claiming that the potato and kale soup I was eating yesterday was Poop Soup. I said it with such casual abandon - barely registering any ham-acted I'm-clearly-making-stuff-up-to-be-funny expressions that my daughter gave me the confused Cant Tell If True look herself. She then went through the alphabet correcting me. "No - you can only eat Poop Soup in the bathroom Daddy..." she whispered - clearly confusing a school rule about when you can use words like that along with food etiquette. After recommending that it was really Boop Soup (which makes you go Boop Boop all day long) and Hoop Soup (which is what Hula Hula hoops eat - unclear as to whether they do this in the bathroom though) she affirmed authoritatively that it is actually called Goop Soup. Goop being mud. Which is why she won't eat it.
I decided not to argue. She did seem awfully confident. Besides - I was eating leftovers and they were eating (ha! - barely...) a chicken, beans and rice thing I'd made for dinner. Then I told them that there is a creature that does actually eat poop. It rolls it up into a big ball and shoves it home to eat. I promised to show them a video and did. It's this one. I particularly like how the female beetle clings on for dear life as the male shoves it blindly along.
Blessedly this didn't trigger some latent desire for either child to play a game of Dung Beetles. Because let's face facts - in that game I would be the turd-marble, my daughter would be the male and my son would dangle off me like the female. It would be 45 minutes of me wondering how in character I should get. Should I put on brown clothes (a strong possibility that I already would be - but any excuse is welcome)? What kind of odors can I involve that are acceptable if a social worker had to evaluate it as not being abusive or deeply unhygienic? Why am I - at this very moment - suffering intense cravings for chick peas purely based upon that video? That can't be good.
Luckily last night my daughter punctured this troublesome balloon by then stating that when she grows up she's also going to have gutters. Let me allow her to speak for herself. "No - when I grow up I am going to have gutters. Like a cow." I went for it and told her that the correct word she wants is actually udders. "I prefer the word gutters..." Fair enough. Got to have something in place to allow all that excess milk to run off anyway. She'll end with a Noble Prize no doubt.
This morning though she was triggered by another discovery. First off I spent about 20 minutes showing my kids old videos of my daughter when she was a kid. When they got bored of that they went back to playing with toys that they'd forgotten about. Those being a bunch of old Thomas trains that had been abandoned in the toy box. They'd been out of sight and mind for probably three months. The main train I found is smaller than the one my son likes to play with obsessively. Not only that but it is the perfect size to fit into the empty goods wagon that the bigger Thomas pulls around. So my son plopped it in there and tugged it around hugely impressed with the game he'd just invented. He emphatically begged me and his sister to not only watch but to applaud him for being so bloody clever. So as a good parent I enthusiastically pointed out with mock-surprise that Thomas was pulling Baby Thomas around. My daughter liked that notion.
Then she asked me a frighteningly esoteric and surreal series of questions. She stood up, furrowed her forehead into a concentrated wrinkle and asked, "...do you think Thomas's Daddy showed him videos of when he was a baby Thomas too?" I know Thomas doesn't have a Mommy. Although I would definitely like to see the Brit Allcroft televised version of that birth. You're already picturing a train-based vaginal tunnel image aren't you? And a little baby Thomas chugging his way out triumphantly - spitting lumps of coal (train-murconium, if you will) as he breathes in his first real air. So I told my daughter, "Oh yeah! Of course! I bet Thomas had loads of videos made of him when he was little." I then named a whole bunch of the ones that my kids and us have and suggested that Thomas has the equivalent. So video of him stood up fir the first time (quickly ending the video when he spits up all over the place). Video of him running around the family camp. Thrashing a pumpkin within an inch of it's life. And of course, inventing scream reggae. Not to mention the infamous dancing video of Thomas and The Afghan Flasher (screw you Google - nobody would ever make a porn movie sadistic enough to bear that title). My daughter liked that very much. She seemed to very much understand that I was co-opting some of her own experiences and transposing them on to her idea about Thomas watching videos of himself. She smiled a lot at that. Then she said, "And that time when Thomas laid an egg."
Must. Find. Video.