Here’s the song reference. If you’re not familiar with Weird Al Yankovic’s work, you might want to give it a listen.
I keep a very small stock of diet soda downstairs for when Grandma visits; she enjoys a properly iced glass of the stuff with her dinner, and I enjoy taking care of those small things that make my mother smile. The cans stay in their little box in the basement until the night before her arrival, at which time a suitable quantity of fizzy beverage is placed in the upstairs refrigerator. After Grandma’s last visit, we procured a new box, and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, it waited near the stack of boxes of old books, quietly gathering the yellow-green pollen that invariably accumulates on everything in the basement when the tribe forgets to shut the door.
After a quick foray to the park this morning, we came home to make puppy puppets out of discarded oven mitts; our theme for this week is dogs, which has led to many Clifford stories being read and many dog-related art projects being concocted (incidentally, if you are a FiOS subscriber, there is a lovely little short about guide dogs on MagRack). While the glue was drying on their masterpieces, Bugaboo and Beanie decided that a little more time exploring the great outdoors was in order, and that playing with Smudgie would be a good pastime for “dog week.” Mr. Man and Baby Guy quickly followed heir big sisters, which gave me a chance to scrub the stray glue off the table and put some cheese rolls in the oven for lunch.
Once the kitchen table no longer presented a health hazard and the oven timer shrilled its cranky tones at me, I called out the kitchen window that there was, in fact, food to be had, and that wise children would quickly come devour it. Bugaboo and Beanie raced each other up the steps, alternating complaints about who might have made physical contact with whom on their way up. Mr. Man followed a moment later, his eyes brightening when he saw the big bowl of sliced apples next to the platter of cheese rolls. As our three eldest impatiently surveyed the luncheon offerings, I inquired of them, “Where’s Baby Guy?”
“He’s still outside. At least, I think he is, ” Bugaboo offered helpfully.
“Yeah, he’s ousside, ” confirmed Mr. Man. Beanie was too enthralled by the mere presence of food to respond.
“Okay, guys. You know the deal. We eat together, so I need you to wait while I go get Baby Guy.”
Beanie’s wordless wail of protest followed me down the stairs and out the back door. Sure enough, there was Baby Guy, hands covered in the potting soil from the pots on the patio table where the girls are trying to grow beets. Laughing, I scooped him up with a quick, “Food, dude!” and headed back to the house. As he nestled his head against my shoulder, as he is wont to do, I caught a whiff of something sweet — just as I tripped over the empty soda can.
Once inside, I looked for the box of diet sodas. Sure enough, the tab on the end had been ripped open, and the box now stood empty, the pollen from the flap collecting in a grimly green blob next to it. Sighing, I carried Baby Guy into the bathroom to wash his wee hands, managed to avoid looking like a refugee from a wet t-shirt contest, then tickled him upstairs and into his high chair.
We prayed grace over our lunch, and I held my curiosity until the last morsel had been eaten. My working theory was that Mr. Man, who is fascinated by canned sodas and takes particular pride in presenting them to anyone who visits our home, had probably emptied out the box and put most of the soda in the downstairs refrigerator. He’s done such things before. What he had never done was actually open one of the cans.
As the three non-highchair-dwellers were putting their dishes in the sink, I inquired, “Mr. Man, did you take Grandma’s sodas out of the box?”
“Mr. Man, did you open the sodas?”
He looked aghast at the very suggestion, and Bugaboo helpfully volunteered, “No, Mommy, I did that. I wanted to give the beets a drink of soda. Beets are sweet and so is soda, so I thought they might enjoy some.”
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for Your blessings, who revel in all the wonders of Your creation. Thank You for their loving hearts that cherish all life, for their tender care of our beloved Bo in what are likely his last weeks, for their fervent desire to bring forth new life from dirt and seeds. Help me, Lord, to nurture their love of the truth, that willingness to admit their own fault even when it would be expedient to let another take the blame. Please grant me the wisdom to teach them the right way to make connections – that while two things may be sweet individually, combining them leads to a big mess and a dead seed. We would raise Your blessings to be good stewards of Your creation, Lord, and to worship You through their care for it.