Last night, I made a sausage-tomato egg bake with warm buttery rolls for dinner. Ellis set the plates on the table. “Dinnah!” She said.
“Yes, we’re going to eat eggies,” I said.
She sang, “Eggies! Eggies!”
I hoisted her up into her seat and served her a square of egg bake and half a roll. She munched on her bread and forked her egg bake, while Dave and I chatted about the Vikings and the weather and which sports announcer bit that woman in the stomach that one time and how was that different than the face biter Florida? Also Ray Lewis killed someone, are we the only ones who remember that?
“Mama, shake ya booty!” She yelled holding her fork aloft.
I shimmied. Ellis laughed.
“Now, eat your eggies,” I said.
Ellis tilted her chin up and grinned a scatter-toothed smile. “Cookie!”
“No, first your eggies, then you can have a cookie.”
The sentence itself was simple enough. The words are all ones she is familiar with and yet, when I said them she shook her head, confused. “Cookie?”
“Eat some eggies.”
I sometimes imagine that the dinosaurs were once happy, munching on leaves, mocking the T-rex until one day, BAM! meteor and then they were all dying in a blaze of fire. The Stegosaurus tipped over onto his side, his legs bloody stumps, reaching out to the the Ankylosaur, screaming, “WHY GOD! WHHHYYYYY?!”
Triggered only by the words, “Eat your eggies,” our world suddenly erupted into tears and shrieks of pain. Dave and I clutched one another, trying to weather the force of the wails that were coming from our daughter. She had been transformed into a fireball of rage and fury. “NO EGGIES!! COOOKIE! COOOOKIEE!!” She screamed pounding her tiny fists against the table. “COOOKIE!!”
Ten minutes of shrieking, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Her rage over this cookie was Biblical. Only God raining down judgment on Sodomn and Gomorrah knew her true wrath. “Don’t look away,” I told Dave, “you might turn into salt.”
“COOOKIE!! COOOKIEE!!” Her body shook with sobs. “COOOKIEEE!!”
“Ellis, deep breaths,” I said, “deep breaths.” I breathed in and out. Hiccoughing and sighing, she slowly calmed down. Her hair was tangled in her eyes and her pale forehead was mottled with red splotches of rage. Streams of clear snot ran into her mouth. She licked her lips and looked up at me with tearful eyes.
I took a deep breath. “No.”
And just like that, a whole other species was rendered extinct.
Dave and I ran into the kitchen to avoid our imminent destruction.
“We really need to go out on more date nights,” Dave said as he ducked behind the stove and shoved a Kit-Kat into his mouth.