Food for thought


…shouldn’t– shouldn’t– what?!

The boychild and Pops and I went to a cafe long a favorite in my home town — so long a favorite that it’s entirely likely that the inimitable Dr. Maddow supped there.  Okay no one sups there.  But maybe had a stack of pancakes there, or an omelette.  Over which she’s sure to have debated Middle East politics, unlike some of us, who were more likely to have been debating which band was greater, The Who or Led Zeppelin. Let me hastily head off at the pass any of you rapscallions about to note that she could probably debate that point with equal alacrity. I don’t need to dwell on these things.

(For those of you just tuning in, Dr. M hails from the same home town as me, thereby both putting it on the map and casting me more squarely in her long, tall shadow.)

The point here, is: CAUTION CHILDREN SHOULDN’T what?! This was the question Pops and I asked each other, between bites of our own omelettes. Pops thought maybe children shouldn’t stick their finger in soup? I thought maybe they shouldn’t stick their white gloved finger in soup?  There was nothing resembling a small, menacing body of water anywhere in view of the sign, though one might suppose such a menace may once have existed. Whatever it is that the disembodied white gloved hand is sticking its finger into, it is making the hovering happy face above it sad.

We didn’t ask the lil’ peanut, since he would be hard pressed to identify anything — animal, vegetable, mineral, or perhaps most especially his big sister’s back, just when she’s on the verge of becoming really irritated  — that a child should not put a finger into.

No, we didn’t ask the waitron.  That would have spoiled all the fun.

10 thoughts on “Food for thought”

  1. Major communication fail: not only is the picture not clear, but the apostrophe is in the wrong place, leading me to wonder precisely *which* letter(s) it replaces, and what new meaning such a word might have? 😉

  2. Yegods, I didn’t even notice the wayward apostrophe. O, what a star-cross’d (!) sign.

    My thought is that perhaps if the waters have a live toaster in them, then no, children should not test them. Or piranhas. Otherwise I can’t see the big problem.

    • I would so be lying if I told you that I didn’t think that daily. Fortunately, the non-bio thing enables these thoughts of mine to have not a tinge of personal vanity.

  3. Sadly, I think Children Shouldn’t sums up a lot of classical child-rearing philosophy. It’s weird how often I have to stifle a reflexive urge to tell my daughter not to do something. And when I ask myself internally why I’m wanting to forbid it, I usually have no good reason. Just that she… shouldn’t. Very weird.

    Also, props to your comment on the bonuses of lack of genetic connection to your child; anytime somebody tells me how beautiful she is, I feel utterly free to beam at them and say “Yeah, isn’t she stunning?” without the slightest feeling of self-interest.

    • Solidarity, sister.

      The whole entire human race is gorgeous, and I’m so glad we have the opportunity to be living embodiments of how easy it is to love one another, with no prompter other than the human heart.

  4. It seems to me that the pointing hand would belong to the reader (or some other disapproving authority figure), unless the child was so exceptionally unfortunate as to have born with his/her hands on backwards. Not that the observation helps to decipher the intended meaning, however. Maybe a strongly communicated encouragement for appropriate restaurant behavior and table manners? Children shouldn’t eat with their hands? (Use eating utensils!) Children shouldn’t relieve themselves at the table? (Be aware when you have to go and then use the provided facilities!) Children shouldn’t cry in their soup? (…cue music…Just keep it inside, and learn how to hide your feelings!) Or maybe the basic message that it’s not polite to point (at the fly in your soup)?

    • 😉

      I know. Even though I take pictures of these kids most every week (most), sometimes there’s something about a facial expression that gives a window. Usually I think it’s a window on their future — like what they’ll look like when they’re pre-teens or something. Then sometimes I think it’s just a window on right now, and it’s just that they move so fast (or my vision is that feeble, despite my best efforts) that I don’t really see them as they actually already are.

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