Let's Digress

The Toddler Chronicles, No. 4


Alex, Becky, and their new baby, Emerson, came over for dinner. We had Chicken Alfredo. Or was it pasta Alfredo? Chicken pasta Alfredo? Whatever. It had chicken, pasta, and Alfredo all mixed together in the same bowl.

While Gabby was putting the finishing touches on the Alfredo food of unspecified name in the kitchen, Lyla, Alex, and I went out to the backyard so Lyla could show him the chickens because he hadn’t seen them since they moved outside.

Lyla’s tour involved her pointing at things with a straw from the tumbler she was drinking out of. She pointed at the willow tree, the grass, the chickens, the house, a random squirrel, and me, and at one point started to just wave the straw around like a wand from Harry Potter. I haven’t read the books, nor seen any of the movies besides the first one, but from what I’ve been told, Lyla would belong to “Ravenclaw.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Anyway, I was showing Alex the inside of the coop, particularly the roosting bar and the box containing the solar hardware for the door, and Lyla pointed out the bedding directly below the roosting bar.

Specifically, she was pointing out all of the “yucky yucky yucky” poop in the bedding below the roosting bar.

More specifically, she was pointing out all of the “yucky yucky yucky” poop in the bedding below the roosting bar with her straw.

And by that, I mean she was literally shoving the straw into the “yucky yucky yucky” poop in the bedding below the roosting bar and then attempted to put that straw back into her mouth, poop-end first.

Being the ever-mostly-watchful father that I am and after hurriedly weighing the risks/benefits of her putting a chicken poop-covered straw in her mouth, I quickly intervened and removed the straw from her, much to her own displeasure.

Judging by her reaction to me plucking the contaminated straw from her grasp, if I had been an unobservant onlooker and not an involved party, I would’ve presumed that someone had beheaded a chicken with a hacksaw in front of her. She shrieked, shouted “nooooo,” and then ran to the back of the yard behind the coop and dramatically collapsed into a heap of ginger toddler onto the ground.

It was quite the scene.

After several seconds of her caterwauling into the earth, I calmly informed her that the straw was gross and she could have it back after it was washed. I also told her that Alex and I were headed inside for dinner and that she should follow.

He and I went inside, I deposited the straw in the sink, and then I went back outside to coax Lyla into coming inside. From my vantage point on the deck, I could clearly see her walking around the yard near the fence with her back towards me. As I approached, I could hear her talking happily to herself in her toddler gibberish. Then she turned around and discovered me.

Now, what happened next has to be some sort of new phase of human evolution. That’s my best guess anyway. As soon as she saw me, it appeared that all of the musculoskeletal support from her legs instantly evaporated and reconsolidated into lung volume and diaphragmatic strength because she abruptly collapsed to the ground and began to wail into the grass again.

Or perhaps it was all a show and she was testing boundaries.

Personally, I like to think that she’ll be some sort of mutant like the X-Men. She already has blue eyes and red hair, so what’s one more genetic mutation at this point, right?

I digress.

I cordially informed her that it was time for dinner and presented her with the option to either walk inside or to be carried inside, and she chose the former.

She then proceeded to inhale an absurd amount of Alfredo-covered pasta, which is only more anecdotal evidence that she is my spawn.

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