I Know Nothing. Clearly.

>> Tuesday, August 21, 2007

“My goodness, Elizabeth. Where does this come from every morning?” I ask, wiping away the dry, white schmutz that surrounds her lips.

“They’re the Crusties. I eat them.”

Oh boy, here we go...

“They flake off and I put them in my mouth and they taste sooo good,” she says and smiles the sweetest smile. “If I had a bucket of the Crusties, then my whole family could eat them. That would be good.”

“Where do you think they come from?” I venture.

“They’re tiny turtle eggs. They pop out of my face each night so I can eat them in the morning.”

I’m tempted to tell her the truth: that “crusties” are not tiny turtle eggs -- just crusted drool. But I don’t.

“Wow,” I say, instead. “Tiny tasty turtle eggs... who knew?”

“I knew, Mommy. I knew.”



“My tummy hurts.”

I'm not surprised. Redlights, greenlights, stop and go traffic... Tummy-ache is the no. 1 complaint from the girls on the way to school. But I'm ready to help in any way I can.

“I’m sorry, Lizzy,” I say and make silly faces in an attempt to make her smile.


I persist because clearly I hadn’t landed on just the right silly face.


Hmm, not that one, either. I pull out all the stops, scrunch my nose, contort my mouth, and cross my eyes so hard they hurt.

“Stop!” she says without the trace of a smile. I accept defeat.

After a moment, she says, “Mommy, the kids at school make me laugh.”

“Oh, yea?" I say hopefully. Perhaps I'll get some pointers. "What do they do to make you laugh.”

“I don’t know. Just stuff you don’t know how to do.”


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