Sunday, February 22, 2009

Butterfly Poop and Other Inquiries

Conversations with my kids cover an amazing variety of topics.

When I was getting into the car one morning last week, some water from the tree above my head dripped down on me, and M. Peevie said happily, "Mommy, a bird pooped on you!"

I wiped my hair and looked at my hand--but it was only water. Nevertheless, it gave me the opportunity to tell a story about a hapless mommy getting bird-shat-upon.

M. Peevie was a babe-in-arms, and I had taken her with me to the zoo on a field trip with C. Peevie's kindergarten class. We were walking through the tropical bird sanctuary, where colorful birds fly free above your head and monkeys jabber in the trees. I was holding M. Peevie in my arms and just as I looked up, a really rude bird took a dump right onto my face.

I was wearing glasses instead of contacts, and the glasses were completely covered in white, gluey birdshit. I was holding M. Peevie, and I couldn't see a thing. It was oh, so amusing. I handed M. Peevie off to another kindergarten mom so I could hose down my face and wipe off my glasses. M.P. was oblivious back then--but today, she enjoyed the story.

When I was telling her about the bird sanctuary where the birds fly free, she said, "Oh! Like the butterfly garden!" which Brookfield Zoo opens during the warm months. Yes, I told her, like that, only the birds don't fly down and light on your hand if you hold still, like the butterflies do.

"I wonder if butterflies poop," M. Peevie segued. "And what does butterfly poop look like? I wonder if it smells bad." We enjoyed an entire car ride's worth of speculation about butterfly poop.

Another excellent conversational moment took place just this morning. A. Peevie had crawled into bed in between Mr. Peevie and me. He was cuddling close to his daddy, cheek-to-cheek, enjoying some tender daddy-cuddling. He lifted up his head from Mr. Peevie's shoulder and looked with gentle love and trust at the man who donated his DNA to make this moment possible.

A. Peevie looked into his daddy's eyes, smiled his sweet, curvy smile, and said, "Dad, is there such a thing as an eyebrow barbershop?" Not that he was suggesting anything, of course.

And finally, sometimes our sweet short-people interactions take a turn to the dark side. I went in to give M. Peevie her first wake-up call. I'm like a snooze alarm: I shake her gently, and pat her round bottom until she grunts or otherwise sleepily acknowledges my existence. She inevitably asks for five more minutes, which I generously grant.

But this morning, I peeked into a little gap in the covers and whispered baby-girl's name. Out came a chubby, waggling finger, inch-worming its way toward my face. I guided it to my nose, pressed it, and said, "Beep!" The finger waggled some more, so this time, being a friendly and playful mommy, I guided it into my mouth and gave it a gentle nip with my teeth.

M. Peevie threw off her covers and sat up in bed, screaming with gigglicious laughter. "Mommy!" she said with huge delight, "I just poked my finger up my butt!"

I was not amused, but Mr. Peevie doubled over laughing while I scraped a layer of tastebuds off my tongue with a grill brush.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Peeve--do your and my heads look similarly like targets? I was waiting for the school bus four decades ago out in the hinterlands of my family farm. Acres and acres of wide-openness. When what to my chagrin occurs, but a big bird dump smack on the middle of my head. Luckily, I had been wearing a little knit beanie, but still. Bucki here.