They are like a basket of pups, adorable, tiny, rolling over one another to get a pat on the head, a snuggle, or a kiss. They wiggle in places no grownup person could manage to move. They are elastic bands. They are rubber balls. They are sparks flying from a firecracker. They are constant exuberance over every new adventure, and every day they learn something heretofore unknown. Their eyes are wide, their voices high. They jump… at every opportunity. They have discovered Chopsticks.

Bean with chopsticks
Life as we know it may never be the same. We have eaten soup with chopsticks, spaghetti, rice, salad, and tonight, Ben ate Chocolate Cake with chopsticks.
Ben eating cake with chopsticks

While bringing his plate to the counter, he dropped a piece of his dinner on the floor, and quick as a lizard, he reached out his chopsticks to grab the morsel and yell, “Five second rule,” then pop it in his mouth. I cringed. I always cringe over these more grotesque parts of raising boys. I am familiar with how unsanitary this is. I have read the reports.

But then, my boys are usually covered in mud, and my youngest consumed dirt from various parts of the yard from the time he could walk. Literally, would walk out and sample with his finger the taste of dirt all over the yard. I was so concerned that he might be missing something from his diet that would make him act so strange, I took him to the Pediatrician, who only laughed and said he would end up with a super sturdy immune system.

So really, my husband assures me, what’s the trouble?

The trouble is my son can now tell his friends at school that he ate his dinner off the floor with chopsticks. And he will technically be accurate. I sigh and wonder when I will get a call from the School Nurse, or worse.

(This was written using a prompt from “One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers,” by Gail Sher – a brilliant, beautiful book, that I first heard of from Patti Digh over at 37 Days.)

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