Lucy has taken to playing restaurant lately.
Oh, she likes to cook with me and she likes to occasionally kick me out of the kitchen - like when she makes lemonade - and she attempts to make an entire container-full completely on her own, only to scream my name every five seconds to bring her lemons, sugar, water, spoons, ice and to actually squeeze the lemons. And then, somewhere she has figured out that all good lemonade must be made with a couple of mint leaves peeking out of the cup - thank you freakin' Max and Ruby - and so she demands that I procure mint leaves, like magic, straight from my butt and hand them to her.
Damn. Am I glad she can make that lemonade completely by herself.
The other thing she and Edie have been doing is taking a bowl of water and just raiding my spice drawer for whatever they find and just making "soup", like nutmeg, lemon, sugar, fennel, hot pepper, Tabasco, basil, sesame oil, "soup". Or cilantro, celery seed, egg yolk, olive oil, bubble gum, stick of butter "soup".
And tonight it was a large pyrex bowl of "sauce" and by "sauce" I mean a thick sludgey concoction of cloves, garlic, fennel/thyme meat rub, cherries, banana, curry and cumin "sauce", which I was forced to try "for real" and had to swallow and smile because they were monitoring my esophagus like little binocular-wearing scientists.
Anyway, tonight's "sauce' - which she quickly decided to re-name a "soup" because perhaps, she thought it was more marketable, more in line with her brand identity - was named "Spicy Pumpkin Soup" and due to a healthy pouring of curry powder, it was in fact, orange. And it looked pretty spicy.
She had also decided to serve it to me as if we were in a restaurant. But not just any restaurant, a restaurant where people order you around with furrowed, intimidating brow and make you do everything they say whether you are enjoying it or not. That kind of restaurant. Where, like, the chefs make their patrons cross their legs exactly they way they want them to under the table or they will bark at you to move and then fall over into an ear-splitting tantrum if you don't actually do it the way they have imagined it in their heads. That kind.
Lucy, when not in preschool or dancing around the room in costume, singing the libretto from "Shrek: The Musical" or doing something ridiculously cute like saying "hanga-burger" instead of "hamburger", is a Restaurant Nazi - Adolf in Sleeping Beauty underpants.
This is our exchange after the several times she had to forcefully re-position my ass on the dining room bench, until it met her specifications. She was wearing a little apron and writing in a small notepad:
Lucy: What do you want? (if she were chewing gum and wearing a red beehive, she'd be Flow from the TV show "Alice")
Me: Well, I guess I'll have the hamburger with a side of...
Lucy: You don't want that. (frowning, scribbling hard lines in her pad)
Me: Um, I don't?
Lucy: No. You want Spicy Pumpkin Soup.
Me: Um. yes...Okay, I want Spicy Pumpkin Soup, please. (I'm a little scared at this point, but trying not to show it)
Lucy: (visibly happier, still scribbling whatever in her notebook) What do you want to drink?
Me: Milkshake. Black and white. Super thick.
Lucy: (shaking her head and looking up from her pad) No, you don't want that.
Lucy: You want white wine.
And then before I can say anything, she pops the notebook closed, secures it in her apron pocket and kind of spins around and heads back to her kitchen, which she set-up in our library, and I am scared at this point to think about how much of the Spicy Pumpkin Soup is now soaked into my carpet.
A few moments later, after some quick bickering and jockeying for positions, I see Lucy and Edie coming around the corner each carefully carrying one side of the bowl of orange gruel, er, I mean soup. They are very excited. They have hopeful expressions. Me too, I was thinking, "Dude, I hope they don't forget that wine."
But, you know, I was just too scared to ask her for it.