As George and I were heading home from basketball practice last night, the one question on his mind was, “What’s for dinner?”
Because we had four kids running in five different directions last night (yeah, it really is possible), it was a frozen-pizza, eat-whenever-you’re-home night.
“What kind of pizza are we having?” George asked.
“Tombstone,” I replied. It is, after all, the cheapest version of the frozen pizza. And my kids eat like vultures when it comes to cheesy carbs, so we always have to stock up.
“I have something to tell you, Mom,” he sighed.
“What is it, Geo?” I inquired.
“I don’t really like Tombstone pizza.”
“What?” I replied. “You all like Tombstone pizza! You’ve always eaten it! When did you stop liking it?”
“I never really liked it,” he admitted. “All these years, I’ve been fake-liking it.”
He’s been fake-liking it.
“Why did you fake-like it, George?” I asked. “Why didn’t you just tell me you didn’t like it?”
“Because I didn’t want you to be mad,” he said. “And you would have made me eat it, anyway. It was just easier to fake-like it.”
“Wow,” I said. “Is there anything else you fake-like?”
“Yes,” he sighed. “I don’t really like that meat that looks like chicken, but it’s not chicken, and it’s square, and it kind of looks like it’s in a cube.”
“Do you mean chicken nuggets?”
“No. It’s not chicken — it just looks like chicken.”
“Are you talking about pork chops?”
“Yes! That’s it! I fake-like pork chops. Well, I like them when Dad cooks them on the grill and puts sauce on them, but I don’t like them when they’re cooked in the oven.”
“What else?” I asked.
“You don’t like salmon?” I asked. “You always eat salmon.”
“You always make me eat salmon,” he replied. “But I do really like tilapia. And snow crab. Just not salmon.”
“Why would you fake-like Cheez-Its?” I asked. “I don’t make you eat those.”
“Sometimes they’re the only snacks we have, so I fake-like them when I have to.”
“Anything else you fake-like?”
He thought for a moment.
“Nope. That’s it.”
“Do you fake-like peas?”
“No, I really like peas.”
“Do you fake-like me?”
“Or do you just genuinely not like me at all?”
“Sheesh, Mom, I LIKE you for real, okay??”
Thank God for small miracles.