"MOM! MOM! MOM! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!"
I stood in the shower, letting the hot water run over my head and down my achy back and weary legs.
The water was hot -- near scalding and barely tolerable -- but I loved it. I inhaled deeply, letting the steam clear my nostrils and fill my lungs.
"Just a few minutes more and I'll get out, I swear."
"MOM? ARE YOU IN THERE? I NEED YOU!"
The 9 year-old was banging on the door, yelling his head off.
"I NEED YOU NOW!"
"I'm in the shower," I called, stating the obvious. "Can it wait?"
"NO. IT'S IMPORTANT!"
I've heard that line before. I'm no fool. I've had plenty of showers interrupted by so-called "important" things. Like the time the twins saw a TV commercial offering free cell phones. Or the time my daughter barged in, complaining she couldn't find a show she'd recorded in the DVR. Or any number of potty emergencies where I pleaded with the kids to pee, but not flush, and they flushed anyway, instantly turning my water ice cold.
I'm not naive. I wasn't born yesterday. I could tell from his voice this wasn't a real emergency. He sounded excited, not panicked.
"YOU'VE GOTTA SEE THIS!"
He barged in the bathroom, an unidentifiable object cupped gently in his hand.
"It's a mutant Trix," he announced, proudly extending his prize out for me to see.
I peeked out from around the shower curtain and feigned excitement.
"Wow, that's really something," I said, trying not to look too annoyed.
"Yeah, it's crazy," he continued. "I've never seen a Trix cereal nugget this big -- or this weird," he said, drawing out "weird" for dramatic effect.
"Yeah, pretty amazing," I said, retreating back to the warmth of the running water.
He said he couldn't wait to eat it, wondering aloud if it tasted as bizarre as it looked. And just as he headed out of the bathroom, the unthinkable happened:
He dropped it.
"OH NO!" he cried. "It's all fuzzy now!"
The mutant Trix landed on the carpet and was now covered in lint and dog hair. It was tragically inedible.
I worried for a second that he'd begin to cry, but instead, he stoically picked it up with a tissue and headed back downstairs to the kitchen.
Fifteen minutes later, when I finished my shower, I found the boy sitting at the table, studying the mutant Trix.
"It's amazing," he said.
"It sure is," I agreed.
"I wonder if we should call the Guinness World Records people," he wondered.
"Nah, I don't think it's necessary," I countered.
He rested his chin on his arm and studied the soggy, hairy kernel, mesmerized by its sheer freakishness.
"This is the best day ever."
"Yeah," I agreed. "I guess it is."
|Freakish blue Trix cereal nugget, left, |
compared to a normal, boring Trix cereal nugget, right.