Sunday, November 2, 2008

Um, WHAT Does Garfield Eat?

A neighbor of ours puts up a huge blow up lawn display for Halloween every year. It is an enormous Garfield the Cat wearing a witch hat (yes, random I know). Last year, when my daughter was not yet 3, she was obsessed with this cat which we drove by every day in October. When she first saw him, she asked who he was. I explained he was Garfield and a little bit about the character cat… he took lots of naps, he played with his dog friend Odie, and he ate lots of lasagna. As repetitive toddlers are, she’d always ask the same questions, fully knowing the answers, every time we rode by. “What does Garfield eat?” “Who does Garfield play with?”

This year, Garfield came up again. Since parents love any opportunity to test the brilliance of their children, I ask her “Who’s that?” as we drive by. Let’s see how much she remembers from last year. “It’s Garfield!” she shouts. “And what does Garfield like to do?” “Sleep!” she shouts! Oh, she’s brilliant! “And what does he like to eat? “ I query further, looking at her cherubic face and wide hazel eyes in the rear view mirror. “Vagana!”

“Ummm, whaaaaaat?” I ask. “Vagana” she answers, which sounds an awful lot like “lasagna” the way she’s pronouncing it, but the accidental "V" at the beginning makes it sound an awful lot like another word… the kind of slip only Freud would love. As I'm realizing that she's blended two words together to sound like both an Italian layered pasta dish and, well... you know... it seems my daughter has also come to this awareness. “Vagana,” she laughs… “that sounds like 'Vagina' Mommy. Garfield likes to eat…..” I cut her off abruptly. “Okay!!!" I interupt enthusiastically. "Let’s talk about Trick or Treat… whats your favorite candy?” and I think to myself “Oh please, whatever it is, don't let it rhyme with another body part." Is there a confection out there called Weenus?

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