"Who lays eggs?" is technically today's question of the day, but that question itself is not so interesting to me as the answer, only I don't really do "the answer of the day," which, yeah, I mean it's my blog and I make the rules but anyway, this series of posts is the question of the day, and that's that.
So the question arose during a pancake cooking session with Mr Bunches, who loves cooking pancakes, although he has branched out somewhat: the other day he helped me cook pizza (frozen) for dinner, along with Mr F's macaroni and cheese. In fact, Mr Bunches planned the entire menu, which he did in this conversation:
Me: What should we have for dinner tonight?
Mr Bunches: Pancakes?
Me: Okay, we'll have pancakes.
Mr Bunches: No, only I have pancakes.
*NOTE: I will come back to that I in a moment.*
Me: What should I have for dinner?
Mr Bunches: Pizza.
*NOTE: Mr Bunches will probably get EXTRA money in the will. Take note, other kids!*
Me: And what should Mr F have for dinner?
Mr Bunches: Macaroni!
Me: And what should Mommy have for dinner?
Mr Bunches: Cupcakes.
To be fair, we had that day taken a trip to the grocery store, where Mommy -- Sweetie, to you -- had gotten cupcakes, so that was probably on his mind. To be fair-er, the trip to the grocery store was a special trip for the sole purpose of getting Sweetie cupcakes from that particular grocery store, so Mr Bunches was spot-on.
Anyway, we cooked pizza and macaroni and cheese and then we did not cook pancakes, at all, Sunday night, because when you are Cooking With Mr Bunches, you cook one thing at a time. We were going to have all of eat at one time, a full-on sit-down dinner of the kind that never never happens in our house, mostly because neither Mr Bunches nor Mr F want to sit down and eat. (Mr F, in particular, prefers to grab a handful of macaroni off of his plate and eat it while he swings, leaving a trail of macaronis underneath the path of his swing, scatttered in random patterns that you probably could use to read the future, if you were so inclined and didn't mind the mess. We don't really mind the mess -- macaroni sweeps up after a few minutes, pretty easily...
... do NOT try to vacuum it up...
... and our carpet long ago passed from "clean and beautiful" to "passable" and on down through "dirty" and then swept on by "are you sure that's carpet" to land on "well, I guess we'll just have to burn the house for the insurance money," so we don't worry about it too much but we are working on getting Mr F to sit and eat because society frowns on flinging cheesy noodles around wildly as you eat.
Or so I'm told. I don't really take part in "society" anymore. Too many people.
So by the time we cooked all the pizzas, and then cooked the macaroni, and we were going to cook the pancakes, Mr Bunches had filled up on bagels, or rather, the top halves of bagels -- I'd gotten out bagels to make "garlic bagels," which are Sweetie's take on the classic garlic bread -- and Mr Bunches remembered that he likes bagels, and so he ate the top half of one. I don't know why he only eats the tops. I'm guessing because the bottoms, really, aren't so great. Did you ever look at the bottom of a bagel? I have, because I'm cool that way. The bottom of a bagel is all smushy and flat and denser, really, than bread ought to be. It's all the compressed, self-loathing parts of the bagel, resigned to its fate as the bottom half of the sandwich, or the second-eaten piece of a toasted bagel, but not resigned in a pleasant, "make-the-best-of-it" way. It's resigned in a "You can treat me like this if you want but all it'll make me do is stare uncomfortably at you while we wait in line at the movie theater."
And I'd say that feeling is unwarranted, but really, the bottom slice of the bagel is inferior.
Anyway, we didn't cook pancakes Sunday, but we did cook them not so long ago, and it was while cooking them that the question of the day came up. I had gotten out the eggs -- Mr Bunches makes his pancakes from scratch, and he's got the recipe memorized, more or less: he knows the ingredients to put in, but is not so careful about the amounts, which is how I learned two things about pancakes:
1. They are amazingly resilient, as a recipe. You have to work to screw up pancakes, because most errors will result in simply a thinner, or thicker, pancake, but one that's still edible. Try it yourself: take a random amount of flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, and stir it together and fry it in a pan. Odds are you'll have a pancake that's edible. It may not be the most amazing pancake you've ever eaten, but it's a pancake. This is the only food I can think of that works that way.
2. You can still screw them up, as evidenced by the time Mr Bunches made what can only be described as a papier-mache pancake: heavy on the flour, it was solid, like a hockey puck, but a little less appetizing. Even he wouldn't eat them.
So: we were cooking pancakes, and it came time for the eggs, which Mr Bunches likes me to do for him because if he does them he sometimes gets egg on his hands, which is entirely unacceptable to him. So I try to make him do it:
Me: Do the bam! (Motioning as if I'm breaking an egg on the side of the bowl)
Him: Can you do it, Dad?
I just realized I forgot to go back to the "I" in that earlier excerpt, but this is getting long, so I'll explain that some other day.
And I tried, as I was doing the Bam! for him, to make this (more) educational, so I said "What lays eggs?" and Mr Bunches said...
...DRAMATIC PAUSE. What do you think he said?
...I mean, I'd have said chickens, because that's what laid the egg I was about to Bam! and also because, that's what lays eggs, right?
But Mr Bunches said:
Which threw me. It's correct, after all, as anyone who watched March of the Penguins and saw that scene where the egg gets away from the penguin for just a second and then it never hatches, I feel a little sad now, knows.
But still, penguins? I was impressed and confused, a little, because in my mind, and probably in all people's minds, animals have more or less one quality, maybe, two. Think about animals for a second. You probably only associate 1 or 2 things with each animal, as shown by this handy list:
Lions: roar, manes.
Ducks: quack, water.
Sloths: slow, possibly only 3-toed.
Dragons: fire, treasure.
I could go on. But you get the point.
So in my mind,
which belong to, as I said,
chickens, which also get farm.
But now, thanks to Mr Bunches, whenever I see eggs I think of penguins, and honestly, my world has become more magical because of it. More confusing and full of pancakes, too.