When Michael was little (around 4) he was playing outside after one of Washington’s notorious rains. Now when it rained there THOUSANDS of big fat worms would come up out of the ground. They would be everywhere. It was really quite a sight to see.
Michael LOVED these worms. They were his ‘friends’.
So, back to the story: after one of these rains Michael comes back in the house with one of my nice, new Tupperware containers.
Me: Hey, whatcha got there?
Michael: Worms. (Okay, here’s where I’m going to say that even though he knew better than have worms in my bowl, he was also very honest.)
Me: Uh, no. You have to go dump those worms out.
Michael: But they’re my friends.
Me: They can be your friends somewhere other than my bowl. Now outside. (And with that I pointed outside, and that’s where he headed.)
A few minutes later Michael came back inside, headed for the kitchen and put the bowl in the kitchen sink.
Me: Thank you.
Michael: (Mouth closed- just nods)
Me: You okay?
Michael: (Mouth still closed- nods again)
Michael: (Looks up at me- mouth still closed)
Me: Hey, did you put the worms outside?
Michael (Mouth STILL closed, shrugs his shoulders)
Me: Michael, where are the worms?
Michael: (Mouth still closed, just looks at me)
Me: Michael, open your mouth.
Michael: - Opens his mouth, and to my horror about twenty big, fat worms are crawling around inside his mouth.
Me: (Shrieking a bit) Outside now, Michael. Go spit them out. Now, now, now.
pushed walked him outside so he could spit them
out. Then I demanded that he go brush his teeth- for a very, very long time.
A little while later he said he was headed back outside to “Play with his friends”.
Me: Okay, but don’t put any more worms in your mouth.
And he didn’t. But the next day when I went to wash clothes I found the pockets of his jeans jam packed with dried up worms. Great. Well, at least he didn’t put them back in his mouth.