Taste Bugs

How often do all members of your household gather at the same table for a meal and shared reflection about your respective days? In our home, we are lucky if this happens maybe twice or thrice a week lately. Thank you, kids’ extracurricular schedules, screaming toddler, hubby’s crazy work week, after hours meetings, projects, priorities, etc.

When we gather at our kitchen table the best talks are had. Bits and pieces of those talks are the things we’ll remember the most years from now - not the 1400 baseball/soccer practices per year or the line items on meetings’ agendas. I’ll never forget tonight’s chat. It feels like slow motion in my head as I type about it. It was that awesome.

We were eating spaghetti with marinara and sausage followed by cupcakes in honor of my birthday girl’s sixth birthday meal request. She wanted her noodles buttered with salt, mozzarella, and “Papa John Cheese” (well, that’s what she used to call it); no sauce was allowed, and the sausage wasn’t good. She forgot that she doesn’t like cake, but she requested the funfetti cupcake mix. Anyway, our eldest had a frank chat with her about how she should eat, but yet he, too, didn’t like the sausage. I enjoyed it, and I think their Daddy did; or he humored me.

Our biggest boy went on to tell us all about “taste bugs,” the different elements of taste perception, and their locations on your tongue. He all but drew us a tongue map, and yes, that’s a real thing. All these things I learned way later in life than him, but that’s how his inquisitive little self rolls.

Our newly six-year-old, blew out her candles, nodded in agreement and went on to tell us all she knew about “taste bugs,” too. The cuteness factor of this conversation was in high gear. Dear hubby and I did all we could do to hold back the guffaws and the squeezes of our innocent, impressionable little ones. They’re so gosh darned cute when they are not arguing with one another. Daddy asked them, “Hey, can you say ‘buds’?”  They both replied by repeating that word correctly. Then, we broke the news.

Instead of disagreeing with us which they often do, they accepted that they had misinterpreted “taste buds” for “taste bugs”. Then, our eldest proudly proclaimed, “Oh, I get it. They’re called ‘buds’ like they’re your ‘buddies’, right?”  I said, “Well, what do you mean, buddy?”  He then said, “You know, they help you out and let you know if they think you’ll like something or not.”

Yep, that’s about right, buddy.