|See Roxy sit? Sit, Roxy, sit.|
I see you squinting at the screen, wondering if your vision is failing you in your old age. You're wondering did I upload the wrong photograph...
Now you're feeling clever because you've concluded that Roxy must be an imaginary friend that is supposedly sitting in the chair...
And some of you are wondering, now that you think about it, what the hell a spaghetti squash is doing sitting in my living room chair. If you are thinking that is the most jacked-up, redneck fall decor you have ever seen, then congratulate yourself for being wrong. Again. That spaghetti squash, in fact, is Roxy.
Deep breath, people. I don't need anyone hyperventilating with laughter yet. I haven't even gotten to the good part!
So, I can tell you're just dying to know how my daughter became besties with piece of produce. I'm kind of wondering that myself, actually. I mean, I know how it started-- I just can't figure out why this pro-mance began. (Pro-mance, for those of you that are slow on the uptake, is short for produce romance. Just so you know.)
It all started last Monday, when Princess and Birdie's Girl Scout troop made a trip to Cox Farm. Cox Farm, for the uninitiated and not-so-local Trainees, is a Northern Virginia family fun destination that is open each fall from the end of September through the first of November. Cox Farm is best described as a pumpkin patch on steroids, complete with corn maze, hayride, petting zoo, hay bale and tube slides, rope swings, jungle gyms, free apples and cider, and a farmers market. To top it all off, when you leave, you get to select your very own fall gourd as a souvenir. This year's gourd selection included tiny pumpkins, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash. (Bet you can see where this is going now.)
"Look, ladies-- you can choose something other than a pumpkin this year if you like. I think I'll get a spaghetti squash and prepare it for dinner tonight. Sound good to you?"
Birdie shouted "Yay! Spaghetti squash! I'm getting one, too. We'll eat mine on another night, okay Mom?!"
Princess, looking slightly disgusted at the thought of eating her pumpkin patch prize, opted for a tiny pumpkin instead. No surprise there.
On the drive home is when things started getting weird. Even though Cox Farm is only 15 miles from where we live, at 5pm on a work day the drive easily takes 45 minutes to complete. That's a long time in the car for two eight year-olds that have had a full day at school followed by nearly two hours of running, screaming, and playing. Princess had essentially checked out in the backseat before we ever got out of the farm's parking area, only becoming focused every few minutes to ask how much longer the trip would take. Birdie, on the other hand, was wide awake, but I would be hard-pressed to describe what I was hearing from her as lucid. She babbled incessantly. To her squash.
"You sure are a lovely little spaghetti squash... I'm so glad I picked you instead of a pumpkin this year... What did you say? You like to be called Roxy?! I had no idea!... Forget what I said about having you for dinner, Roxy-- I didn't realize you were aware!... I promise I'll take very good care of you, girl."
After twenty minutes of listening to this one-sided dialog, I had to ask "Birdie, are you talking to your squash?!"
"She's not a squash, Mom, she's a spaghetti squash and she's my friend. You should be polite and say hello to Roxy."
What the...?! "Hi? Uhhh, Roxy?"
Later that night, once the girls had gotten dressed for bed, Birdie sat on the sofa, holding Roxy in her lap, stroking Roxy's yellow skin affectionately. She read to Roxy, and showed Roxy some of her favorite pictures in the book she was reading. Seriously?! SERIOUSLY?! She won't even do these things with our dog!
The next morning, Roxy came to breakfast with Birdie. Birdie offered her food. Bread and pumpkin butter, to be exact.
"Hey, Birdie, you do realize that you are encouraging Roxy to be a cannibal, right? That pumpkin butter is practically her cousin, if you think about it." That's funny, no? I was laughing my booty off. Birdie looked at me in a way that made me afraid to turn my back on her. Note to self: no more cannibalistic gourd jokes. Ever.
|Roxy, in her little squash bed, lying on her... silk scarves?!|
I am told she isn't feeling well.
Before going to school, Birdie kissed Roxy on the "cheek" and promised her "I'll be home as soon as I can, Sweetie." She then tucked Roxy into bed. Let me say that again: she tucked the spaghetti squash into bed. A special bed that was made especially for said squash. Is this weird to anyone else?! I am having a hard time determining weird from not weird these days. I don't exactly have a glowing example of normal around here.
That evening (and every evening since), Roxy has been at the dinner table, refusing to eat. She has been cuddled on the couch. She has apparently complained of all the noise Princess makes after dinner, and on several occasions has worn Birdie's earphones to "block out the unbearable sounds that girl makes." She has been by Birdie's side almost nonstop, and she has even ridden to school with us on one occasion. That ended in tears, however, when I told Birdie that she had to leave Roxy in the car. Birdie accused me of squash abuse AND child abuse, and I was informed that I am "more heartless than could have ever been imagined! Poor Roxy could bake in the car if it gets too warm!" I decided I shouldn't point out how great it would be if that happened, since dinner would be taken care of. She seemed upset enough.
I may be wrong, but I am getting the impression that Roxy is becoming all too real to my Birdie as a friend. I am getting the impression that Birdie isn't considering the fact that Roxy will one day have that less-than-fresh-scent of decay upon her and will have to go. I am under the impression that day will suck for me in a big way. BIG.
Currently, Roxy is feeling under the weather-- or so I'm told-- and is spending the day in bed. Birdie suspects that she is nervous about the impending storm. I wonder if this is the appropriate time to broach the topic of Roxy's impending death. Do I bring up this inevitable tragedy now, with the distinct possibility that I will be trapped in the house with Birdie for the next three days, listening to her lament the death of her garden-born friend? Or do I help Birdie plan Roxy's Halloween costume instead? I hear Roxy wants to dress up like a baby for Halloween. She'll probably get a truckload of candy with that costume... as long as she hasn't started to smell yet.
I'm thinking I'll just let this pro-mance run it's course. Surely the smell of a dying spaghetti squash will be all the motivation Birdie needs to let this friend go. Surely... Okay, maybe I should say something.
|Princess, looking underwhelmed|
Aside: Not to be outdone, Princess decided to name her Cox Farm pumpkin Foxietta. That's pronounced Foxy-etta. She has no bizarre friendship with Foxietta. I don't even think she remembers where Foxietta is anymore, to tell the truth. (Speaking of which,I should probably go looking for her before she starts to smell, too.) No weird produce attachments with that one, maybe just a little sibling rivalry.