Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Edible Entry

This morning I asked my daughter who - if she had to - she would eat.

She quickly reminded me, "er Daddy no - you don't eat animals of your own species. It causes problems." I hope you got that. No moral foibles there about eating people. She's just concerned about the pragmatic aspects of cannibalism. I urged her to get over those concerns and to offer me up the name of someone she thought looked tasty. I even went first. I said I wouldn't eat her mother.I then explained that - as it was a case of having to eat them for the purposes of the game - that her mother would be too lean and would likely taste of something sour. My daughter understood then that I wasn't gaming her for the name of someone we might actually eat. But that it was just a silly game where you say what you think people would taste of. So she quickly said, "you can't eat me either - I taste of shrimp and you'd die." It says a lot about my daughter's love for me that she's so concerned about my allergies that she feels the need to remind me I can't eat her. I did suggest to her that I wondered if she'd done that on purpose just so I wouldn't eat her and she sheepishly blushed. Rumbled. She then helpfully said she'd ask her teacher what she likes to eat sop we can determine if we would want to eat her. It fills me with unspeakable sadness that I won't be there at the moment she asks her that. I will though get to see her confused and slightly-concerned face after school today when she wonders whether to bring that line of questioning up.

Also as we all lay lazily in bed this morning (if you can call being pummeled by kids at 6.30am that) my daughter was reminded by her mother that she has lots of babies inside her. I did ask if she'd eaten them or accidentally sat on them. But no - her mother had just explained the whole magic of having all your baby eggs inside you at the moment of birth. Her mother then corrected herself and said "well - parts of babies." I suggested it was probably just a leg. My daughter said it was actually a babies face. I said that at night it probably squashes up to her belly so that you could actually see it's features - like if you pulled your t-shirt over your face and stretched the cloth over your face. My daughter said she thought it more likely it just peered through her bellybutton. After her mother then explained the whole baby-eggs thing our daughter then confidently exclaimed that the babies don't come out all at once though - like some sort of alarming baby spillage. No "they just come out maybe two at a time." I asked if they remember who owns the leg and face because it would be pretty confusing when they got older when they realize they have someone elses leg on and it won't do what it was told to. 

In completely unrelated news to anything already written my daughter had nightmares all night. She woke up a lot and we could hear her crying in her dreams a few times. She told me this morning that she kept dreaming she was stuck in a fire. I don't know where her fire=phobia comes from but she is genuinely hyper-sensitive to fire at times. If I try burning wood outside she can panic. So having repeated nightmares about it doesn't sound fun. She then told me that she only has nightmares in her own bed but they go away if she gets in our bed and she doesn't dream at all after that. Which she's clearly telling herself to feel better because when I got up before everyone else this morning she was in the middle of sleep-whimpering.

On a personal level her having nightmares bothers me a great deal. I do not sleep well. The less the better. Better than it used to be granted. So I carefully told my daughter that for as long as I can remember I've only had nightmares. No dreams about flying or finding yourself at work without pants on. No imagining you're on adventures or in weird but interesting situations. Just nightmares. I tried to tell her in that way that didn't suggest "so there's a possibility that instead of long nights of happy dreams you too could only have terrifying nightmares too! Yay!!" More in the sense that I wanted her to fully understand what it feels like to have that sort of intrusion in your dreams. She seemed to understand it and told me that she knew it wasn't real at all but that it made her sad. Then when she began to see that I was having one of those serious moments I changed tact that some people think that if you eat cheese or spicy things right before bed it can give you crazy dreams. "Like scary cheese?" she asked.  At which point I wanted to know what she would define as scary cheese. I suggested maybe a piece of cheese so abnormally massive that when you went to eat it you were worried it would fall and trap you underneath it. Then I mentioned spray-cheese in a can. Then - to link the morning's eating-things stuff together I said I bet her teacher tasted of cheese. I'm confident that she'll let the teacher know at some point today that her Daddy thinks she looks like she tastes of cheese.

This morning my daughter had this for her "breakfast juice." It very much follows the modern trend of labeling things as "super foods". Which seems to include anything that isn't actually a cake. As it's 100% juice the company have gone for the name, "Superfruits." My daughter - now very capable of reading - checked the label this morning to check what flavor it was. She was expecting apple, cherry or orange or something like that. A real word for a real fruit, basically. After confirming what it said I was about to go on like a pillock about how companies call stuff "superfoods" and whatnot so that people get the impression that their not just drinking some lame, weak fruit like pineapple. Oh no - this is an entirely different level that only pious, hardcore fruit imbibers can handle. Instead my daughter widened her eyes into a genuine Eureka stare and told me that she knows what this drink is for. She explained that if we go and hide in the grocery store in the juice aisle we'll see all the normal people coming and buying apple juice. But if anyone picks up this Superfruit then we will know that they are secretly a superhero - just like she is. I did ask her whether she would lose all her superpowers if she didn't drink this but she denied that and said most superheroes do - but not her. Then I again asked what superpowers she had. Her brother claims that his are being able to yell "SUPERPOWERS!!!" louder than anyone else. Which he might actually be right about. My daughter confidently told me that dancing was one of hers. I have shown her videos of her dancing so I'm guessing she's just deluded. Probably in the same way the Ellen Degeneres is in that she thinks she can dance as well - but very clearly can't dance at all. But still violently thrashes about like a mad pigeon stuck by lightning. 

Which reminds me. Over my lifetime I've been in many half-arsed bedroom/garage bands. Played drums a bit. Played guitar more often that not. And had a go at singing every now and again. At no point did anyone helpfully tell me I couldn't sing. In fact some people told me I could sing quite well. So it's come as quite a surprise over the last week when I've been trying to play and sing along to some old songs I like (and some I'd been writing) that I can't hit a single note. It's not even magically atonal like David Byrne does - where he sings every note in his own key scale so it fits a unique pattern. It's just feeble, warbly and way off. I was genuinely surprised by that. So I conducted an experiment. I stuck headphones on and sang along to some songs that I'd always assumed I was pretty good at singing. I recorded it with and without the song. Without the song in the background I sound like a harpooned manatee. With the song it sounds alright I suppose. But not what you would term as "good". I'm hoping it's a temporary thing because I like singing. And it's quite hard to play or write something you like and ask other people if they think it's any good if you sounds like you're in pain. Later today maybe I'll try and get a video of me and the kids singing. Which basically means either nursery rhymes or my son's own amazing son Thomas In The Moon or his horse-racing train-narrations. If he could do that, my daughter danced and I howled like a manatee we could really corner our own niche market. Actually I'll try and get us to all learn a song my daughter and I have been singing called The Pumpkin Pie Gland. Basically it's to the tune of This Land Is My Land and goes

Behind my eye gland.
And near the Why gland.
Is my pumpkin pie gland.
I don't know why gland.

Number One Hit I tell you. 


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