I consider myself an exceptionally honest person.  Occasionally, honest to a fault.

Honest about what I think, feel, believe, etc.  At least at any given moment.

I shy away from using the term “truth” as a player in any description of character, since that invites a whole host of objections that I’m not energetic enough to expose myself to today.

It is possible to be honest and still be mistaken, for example.   It is only one example, though.  The line between honesty and falsehood isn’t always totally clear.

I am honest at least insofar as I will answer any sincere, serious, unloaded, and un-ridiculous question with a sincere, serious, unloaded, and un-ridiculous answer–to the best of my ability.

But I am honest now because I was not always that way.  Or I was.  Or I wasn’t.

Technically, as a child, I was a pathological liar.

Well, check that.

I don’t know if I was pathological, really, because I never lied out of compulsion alone.  My lies always had some purpose, but it didn’t take much for something to count as a purpose, and in many cases, the purpose of the lie didn’t become apparent until many years later.

There are a small few of these lies whose stories stick with me because of their consequences, their geneses, or, in one case, because the lie actually turned out to be a premonition.  Here are three of them:


1.  The Beach Towel Fabrication:  In which Grandpa reaches across double-wide generation gap to remind me who I’m fucking with.

When I was a young, school-aged child, both of my parents worked–my mother in politics and my father as a land surveyor.  Unlike school, work doesn’t let out for the summer, so for many years, I went to summer day camp at the YMCA.  Even day camp, though, let out before my parents’ jobs did, so my grandfather would often pick me up, and I would hang out with him and Grandma at their house until my mom got off of work and could come retrieve me.  My grandpa was a North Dakota farm boy who was in his late teens, just getting ready to enter the world, when the stock market crashed in 1929.  He had been led home by a horse in a white-out blizzard once, which was my favorite story of his, and he lived a young life that most of us would consider third-world from our contemporary, relatively affluent perspectives.  His own grandparents (or was it his parents?) were Swedish immigrants.  He walked with a cane even when I was still very young.  In true Scandinavian fashion, he was reserved, slow to (exhibit) anger, and, really, the epitome of the patient grandfather stereotype.  He had glasses with thick black rims, a dry, clever sense of humor, and liked kids with “spunk.”  His eldest daughter, my mother, was one of them.

One day at day camp, I lost my towel.  There was a pool at the YMCA, and it had been swimming day (as opposed to nature day or field trip day or arts and crafts day).  When Grandpa picked me up, he rifled through my bag, as was customary, to make sure I hadn’t lost or forgotten anything and discovered no towel.

“Where is your towel?”

For reasons not entirely clear to me but that may have been related to my current fear of ever making or admitting mistakes, especially to people who I want to think that I’m awesome, I lied.  I didn’t say I lost it.

“I’m not telling you.”

“Did you lose it?  Should we go in and look for it?”

This is where I should have said, “Yes.  Let’s.”

Instead I said, “I didn’t lose it.  But I’m not telling you where it is.”

Now I was in for the haul.  Committed to the lie.  No turning back.

“Don’t you sass me.”

“I don’t have to tell you.”

I may have laughed the snotty laugh.  I may have stuck out my tongue.

This went on longer than most men of his generation would have allowed.  Finally, out of space, out of thin air, a bolt of paper-skinned lightning struck me on the cheek, immediately setting the whole left side of my head on fire.

When I finally realized that I had been slapped in the face for–perhaps amazingly–the first time in my young, snotty life, he was already behind me, holding the truck door open.  In a stern but controlled voice, he ordered me to get in.  I could explain the towel to my mother, he said.  He had “had it.”  I sulked the whole way back to his house.

At this point, you’d think I’d have learned something about who was the boss of my situation, but no.  When we got home, I refused to get out of the truck.

He offered me the “easy way ” or “hard way” option.  Ever the warrior, I told him he couldn’t carry me anywhere because he was “just an old man with a cane.”

He came around to my door, leaned his cane against the truck, pried me out, and threw me, flailing and screaming, over his shoulder.  He picked up his cane in the other hand, parallel to the ground, and hauled me into the house without ever letting the cane touch down.


2.  The Incredible Tale of Crusher, the Wolf-Dog:  In which my susceptibility to fantasy is revealed in a lie I almost started to believe was true.

I was always obsessive, even as a child.  I would watch the same movies, over and over, until my parents had to disallow them as options on video rental night because they simply could not stand to watch them again.  Among these movies were The Neverending Story, Emerald Forest, Better Off Dead, and The Journey of Natty Gann. (My John Cusack obsession started early, too.)

For those who are unfamiliar, Natty Gann is about a Great Depression-era girl with a dead mother who goes in search of her father after he leaves her in the care of an unsavory guardian so he can do logging work some 2,000 miles away in the Pacific Northwest (or was it Alaska?).  Anyway.  She wants her dad.  She takes off across the North American wilds trying to get to where he is, having many adventures and, at some point, befriending a wolf (known only as “Wolf”), who becomes her constant companion and guardian throughout her travels.

After seeing this movie for the tenth or fifteenth time, I began telling kids at school that I had a half-wolf, half-dog named Crusher (Bad.  Ass.  Name.), who was my best friend.  Crusher was pretty incredible.  He lived in the woods by my house, could sense when I was in trouble, came when called from up to 5 miles away, attacked bad guys, AND did all the normal tricks dogs do, like sit, roll over, shake, speak, and play fetch.

In reality, I had a grumpy Pekingese with an underbite who all my friends were afraid of because he was dreadfully ugly. And he bit.  His name was “Oscar,” after the Sesame Street grouch.

I told the other kids I met Crusher when he saved me from drowning in the river.

Crusher was an imaginary friend of sorts, but I don’t think I ever told my parents about him, and I knew he wasn’t actually real, most of the time.

I have one particularly vivid memory of telling this lie on the school bus as it made its way towards my day care, going down 3rd St. on the north hill of my hometown.

If what I was saying were true, I was dared, I should call him and he should show up.

I said fine, I would, but he might be busy doing some other bidding of mine.  I remember looking down towards the river and seeing, in my mind’s eye, a gray streak barreling up the hill to come get me.  I stopped telling that lie, I think, when he never showed up and when I realized that, sooner or later, friends who came to my house would begin to ask why they never saw Crusher.  I told them I sent him back into the wild to be with the wolves.  This, unsurprisingly, is exactly what Natty Gann did with Wolf.


3.  The Completely True Fairy Tale of Neverland Summer Camp:  In which I describe in great detail a place I didn’t yet know existed and events that had yet to take place.

Thriller-era Michael Jackson was cool.  Way cool.  I was a huge fan and even had a red leather belt (a la his jacket in the Thriller video) with MJ’s Billy Jean facade as the belt buckle.  Michael Jackson bought Neverland Ranch in 1988, when I was ten.  When I was nine, a new kid came to day care.  He was from a wealthy family with Hollywood connections, and he told incredible stories about meeting famous people.  They were like my stories, in a way, but his were true.  We knew they were true because he brought pictures to show-and-tell.  One of the people he’d met was Michael Jackson.  He was wildly popular almost immediately.  No tale of an invisible wolf-dog could trump an actual Polaroid of Cool Kid standing next to a squatting, beaming, still-black Michael Jackson.

So I did the only thing I could think to do:  I fabricated a story so awesome that nothing anyone else could say could possibly be cooler.  It was easily the most elaborate and vivid lie I have ever told in my life.  It was about how–not only had I met Michael Jackson–I hung out with Michael Jackson on an annual basis, in the summer, every summer.  It was basically summer camp; a bunch of other kids and I would go to Michael Jackson’s house, where he had rides and video games and threw parades every day.  Michael Jackson loved kids, which is why he let us come to his awesome house.  We played with Bubbles, had slumber parties every night, and he slept in the same room with us (in bunk beds, though, because even my premonitions, I guess, were naive).  We’d stay up late telling ghost stories and get up early to go swimming and ride elephants.

He’d give me rides on his shoulders because he liked me best, and no, sorry.  No other kids could come with me because it was invitation-only.  But if they were really nice to me, I might be willing to give Michael a call and ask.

When the more elaborate details of Michael’s time at Neverland Ranch began to surface in the late 90s and after, I enthusiastically and with terrible desperation told people how, when I was 9, I had described this very scenario in shocking detail to a group of playground kids in semi-rural suburban Minnesota.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, no one believed me.




Hungry Sara

By Irene Zion

Humor

Of all my children, Sara was the one who excelled in adventurous eating. The top two were only 14 months apart, so I can time when I learned this fact precisely. Lonny was all skinny legs and dead weight in my front carrier and Sara was no more than 15 months old.

Sara was playing in the bedroom with her imaginary friend, Jack, who lived under the bed. I was in the kitchen and thought to look in on her since she was unusually silent. She and Jack were usually quite boisterous.

As I entered the front hall I met up with Sara. Her mouth was all chocolaty and she was holding what appeared to be a Baby Ruth. She was chewing. She was smiling.

She was eating dog shit.

I gagged. I ran to her screaming something I can’t remember. I really frightened her and I  just feel awful about that, but honestly, wouldn’t you scream?  (I realize that a picture of this would have been great, but at the time, my mind must have been somewhere else.) I picked her up and ran to the bathroom and, holding her aloft with my right arm, I moved Lonny’s hanging little body over to the left. I rinsed out her mouth and washed her face and hands, all the while gagging and screaming as quietly as I could so as not to frighten her, or Lonny, more than I already had.

She was angry with me. She had been enjoying her snack.

(This, right here, is why you do not get an older dog from a shelter. More often than not, they are in the shelter because no one could housebreak them, or they never stop barking, or they attack anyone who passes who might be wearing boots or a hat. You walk in, fall in love and go home to raise a retarded dog, who is sweet as can be except for just one little quirk.)

Some of you may wonder just how sick Sara became after this. She did not get sick at all. She had probably been feasting on dog shit long enough that she was accustomed to whatever bacteria grows in dog shit.

A few weeks later, I was wearing my skinny legged baby as usual and Sara was walking next to me. She was always very dependable and did what she was told. I never had cause to worry about her misbehaving or, say, running into the street. We entered the elevator and Sara asked for the chapstick. I handed it to her. The elevator was full. When we got to the 6th floor, I asked Sara for the chapstick back.

“I ate it,” she said.

“You ate it?”

“Do you have any more?” She asked.

I did not realize up to this point that you had to explain to a child that chapstick was not edible. You learn something new every day as a mother. The tube was completely empty, right down to that little plastic circle with the point at the bottom.

I watched her pretty closely after that. She had a tendency to pick things up off the sidewalk and appear to study them, but if you looked away, she had already popped them in her mouth.

She ate lots of pennies and dimes and nickels, although she only sucked on quarters.

She ate flowers.

She ate gravel.

She ate dirt.

She ate little pieces of plastic.

You name it.

If it were in her path she’d tuck it in her mouth. She was pretty quick. I got so that I only worried if the item was too large. She had good instincts, though, and never choked on anything.

You might think that this would have made her a sickly child. You would be wrong. She never had the slightest stomach upset. I don’t think she ever vomited in her whole life.

Sara was three years old when we joined the Navy and moved to Annapolis. We used to treat ourselves to a dinner out once a week at generic fish ‘n’ chips greasy spoons, where Lonny could make lots of noise and run around like a banshee and no one would care, while Sara sat patiently waiting to eat.

At one particular dinner that is emblazoned in our minds, we asked Sara what she was chewing, because our order had not yet arrived.

“Gum.”

“But we don’t have any gum.”

“I do.”

“Where did you get gum?”

“From here.”

She indicated the underside the table.

Then she smiled and showed us her cupped hand full of used pieces of chewing gum that she had been busily been prying loose and collecting.

“These are for later,” she explained.

We gave her the “You Shouldn’t Eat Gum from Under the Table” lecture, but, really, we knew it was useless. We at least got the gum out of her mouth that time and her stash of the moment.

You do what you can do. (I do wish I had had a camera with me then.)

By the time the top two were old enough for small chores, and before the bottom three were born, we asked what chore each would like to do. Lonny didn’t want to do anything, but we made him do little things that wouldn’t push him over the edge. Lonny did not like to be told what to do. Sara offered to clean up the dishes after dinner every night.

This is how Sara looked at this time:

After a while I noticed that the plates were coming into the kitchen pretty much clean. There never seemed to be any leftovers. This is when we cottoned on to her trick of eating everything that anyone else had left over on his plate each night. She really enjoyed cleaning up after dinner, but she had her own reasons.

By this time we thought we had a handle on Sara, but then the unthinkable happened.

In High School, Sara became a vegetarian.

Seriously.

The girl who could and did eat anything, stopped eating all meat and fish.

(What category would dog shit be in, anyway?)

When she went to college, she came home a vegan.

(I’ve told you her history. Can you believe this?)

I had to make Thanksgiving for all the ravenous carnivores in the family and an entire vegan Thanksgiving also. I discovered upon researching that the “Tofurky” is no match for the “Now and Zen.” She had to have vegan “turkey,” “gravy,” “stuffing,” cranberry sauce, (Okay, that one was easy,) and dessert with no meat, fish, eggs, milk, butter, gelatin, or any animal product. She still liked to eat, mind you, she was just suddenly enormously finicky.

Thankfully, she has reverted a bit and as of now is a regular vegetarian with a touch of pescatarian thrown in on occasion. She will eat milk products, but only those from “The Happy Cow Farm,” and only eggs with painstaking requirements that boggle the mind. (Just try to go shopping for her.)

This from the girl who ate dog shit.

 

129 Comments »

Comment by Sara Zion |Edit This
2009-06-05 08:10:34

Yeah, well, what lessons did you expect me to learn? Remind me who couldn’t be bothered to get me a clean glass of water from the sink but instead left a cup that I could just dip in the toilet when I was thirsty?!

I am not making this up, nervous breakdown friends. They actually gave their toddler daughter a toilet cup.

Again, really, what did you expect?

(Small wonder I retreated to vegetarian food after what you intentionally fed me! Survival instincts, Lady!)

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:08:10

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!
Sara!
I never knew you were using the cup in the bathroom to scoop up toilet water!
There was a step stool for you to reach the sink and we TAUGHT YOU how to use the faucets!!!!!
Lordy, Lordy, Lordy!
Every time I write one thing I learn something else yet more horrible.
Sara! Why did you never tell me this?
WAIT!
There is a cup in your own childrens’ bathroom!!!!!

AHA!
What goes around comes around.

Comment by Phat B |Edit This
2009-06-05 22:07:08

I’m dying over here! Toilet cup.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 03:56:48

Phat,

My children are ALL out to get me. Unquestionably.

Comment by Sara Zion |Edit This
2009-06-06 02:37:12

I do not remember this. You yourself told me this story about the toilet cup several times (Mahomet, Champaign) as evidence for how stubborn and quirky I was about my independence. Basically, you said you gave in to my demands because I really wanted to do it myself. Now, as a parent of two little ones who constantly want to do disgusting things, I have two things to say.
1) kids are revolting
2) you don’t enable their disgustingness a a parent!!!

What were you thinkin’, Lady? (again with the “Lady…”)
Ask Dad; He might remember. I think you regaled me with his story in front of some high school friends– if I wet get back in touh w/ them, will ask.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:01:18

Sara,
I am obviously getting demented. I cannot remember this at all. Not the slightest glimmer.
You WERE very stubborn, that I obviously remember.
I remember you told me that you taught Lonny the trick of brushing the toothbrush hard on your hand so it SOUNDED like you were brushing your teeth, then putting a tiny dollop of toothpaste in your mouth for the breath test.
Why couldn’t you just brush your teeth?
I’ll see if any of my friends remember, but I’m pretty sure they are all as addled as I.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:03:28

Sara,

And futhermore, your father doesn’t know any of your middle names or your birth dates, with the exception of Lenore’s birth date since it is TAX day. Most of the time he doesn’t even remember he HAD children.
Ask Dad! I say HA! to that.

Comment by lonny |Edit This
2009-06-06 16:12:54

sara you are awesome

do you let your kids eat poop or drink out of the toilet
just wondering

i dont have kids but i definitely would let them drink from the toilet

mom sometimes i think you might give people the impression that we are not normal

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 17:24:50

Lonny,
I’m pretty sure that abnormal is our middle name.

Comment by Sara Zion |Edit This
2009-06-08 02:51:51

Ask dad.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-08 03:48:44

I’m sorry, honey. He doesn’t remember.
If it makes you feel better how about I admit that I certainly did tell funny stories about all of you because you did such crazy things.
I mean, duh, that’s what I do here. I just don’t remember this particular thing.
Lonny doesn’t seem to remember it either.
You are probably right.
All of this happened and because there was SO MUCH material to deal with I have lost some of it somewhere in my brain.
As I get further into dementia, I understand that older memories become uncovered. I suppose we can hope for that.
I believe you. I just don’t remember it.

Comment by Sara Zion |Edit This
2009-06-08 12:07:44

nonono
the “ask dad” in the last line was a joke
because you said dad doesn’t even remember our middle names
and then you said “abnormal is our middle name”

wasn’t funny, i guess. )

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-08 12:38:12

A thousand apologies, Sara.
This whole comment line is totally out of order.
I don’t know how anyone could understand what went on in this whole process.
Now I understand you.
That really is hysterical.
He DOES remember his grandchildren, though. Hard to believe, but true nonetheless!

(I actually asked him. I’m totally an idiot!)

Comment by George |Edit This
2009-06-07 09:41:06

Sara said, “You yourself told me this story about the toilet cup several times (Mahomet, Champaign) as evidence for how stubborn and quirky I was about my independence. ”

Well, I lived in Champaign during the relevant time period, and I never heard of this story until now. I know that if I had heard of it, it is the kind of think I remember.

Perhaps Sara drank from the toilet (a little girl imitating a dog), but it is not something that her parents would brag about or even allow. I never head this toilet cup story until now, and (sadly) it will be hard for me to forget the mental picture I have now.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-07 11:31:41

AHA!
Yet another of my friends chimes in!
You see, Sara? It’s becoming increasingly clear that you imagined this in your fertile brain and came to believe it.

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Comment by Kate |Edit This
2009-06-05 08:36:43

I used to eat Vaseline. That stuff was good. Oh, and paper. If you look at books I read as a kid, all the pages are missing their corners because I used to eat them. Then, I too became a vegetarian, vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian.

Maybe there’s a trend here…

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:12:17

KAAA ATE!
You ate VASELINE?
(I have a horrible urge to taste vaseline now. Just to see, you know? I really hope the urge goes away before I can act on it.)
Paper I can understand.
Paper tastes good.
I get that. (Doesn’t everyone?)

But what is the deal with all you normal children turning into crazy weird picky eaters later in life?

I just don’t get it.

Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-05 16:16:34

Carbon paper tastes bad and thermal paper tastes worse.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 17:40:57

And you know this…HOW, Adam?
Don’t tell me you’ve eaten carbon paper. Yuck!
(You’ll have to tell what thermal paper is before I will be suitably impressed.)

Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-05 18:22:18

Thermal paper employs a heat-sensitive chemical that changes the color of the paper as an alternative to ink. Any receipts you receive with crisp, solid black printing are likely thermal paper. If you’re curious, hold the paper to a flame, but not close enough to ignite the paper; the whole sheet should go black.

Thermal paper is the bane of restaurant expeditors and waitstaff, as ready entrees are placed in the “window,” which keeps them hot until delivery, with a ticket designating which entrees go together, and to where — which ticket is invariably printed on thermal paper and goes black and illegible in the window.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:05:34

Well, thanks for telling me, but I still never heard of it.
I suppose it was because I was never a waiter since I have a grave problem with clumsiness.

2009-06-06 05:16:24

Nick ate paper and got pinworms in his butt. How disgusting is THAT? I guess that’s why he’s a meat and potatoes guy today.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 11:54:27

Christine,

Why in the world would eating paper give you pinworms? I think whoever told him that was incorrect. It just doesn’t make sense. I don’t think pinworms can live in paper, they need a digestive tract of a mammal.

Comment by Trish |Edit This
2009-06-05 08:55:10

Now maybe my kids can understand why we didn’t have a dog when they were little.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:14:35

Trish, Trish, Trish,

It’s not ALL dogs. It’s older dogs from a shelter.

We had terrific luck with rescue dogs.

Sorry, you are NOT out of the woods with this one, Trish. Your children will be able to torture you for the rest of your life.

Comment by Dana |Edit This
2009-06-05 09:19:36

A TOILET cup?! LOL!!

2009-06-05 12:04:30

I just spit out my tea. A toilet cup! Irene!!!

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:21:29

Oh Criminy!

My own firstborn daughter has coined the term “Toilet Cup” for all the world to use.
I will never outlive this humiliation!

Gina, just wait till YOUR daughters are in their 30’s! THEN you’ll find out what they’ve been doing all along!

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Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-05 16:18:18

As long as everyone flushed, it’s not a big deal. Below the floor, it’s the same pipe.

Unless you used some kind of tank sanitizer, in which case it’s a very big deal.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 17:43:05

Well, at least there’s that, Adam. We never used any of that blue stuff on account of we never had a dog who did not prefer water from the toilet to fresh water in a dog bowl.

Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-05 18:12:04

The dog is the canary; the water’s fine, Q.E.D.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:06:52

I’m not sure if that’s true, but I chose to believe it since it makes me feel better.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:18:53

Jimminy, Dana!

I had NO IDEA it was a toilet cup until this particular child who just turned 37 years old yesterday! How could I have guessed this was what was happening?
Who would have imagined?
Really, Dana, cut me some slack here.

(Now there is an actual term in use named: “Toilet Cup.” Thanks a lot, Sara!)

Comment by Greg Olear |Edit This
2009-06-05 09:22:00

My kids barely eat meat at all. They’re already vegetarians. They just eat cheese and yogurt and ravioli. Is the inverse true? Does this mean they’ll grow up and eat dog poop?

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:25:13

Greg,

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that barely anyone grows up to eat dog poop. I’m pretty sure that if you don’t do it when you are little, you have other weird quirks when you grow up.

But, seriously,Greg, do you actually KNOW your kids haven’t experienced the certain je ne sais quoi of dog poopy when you have not been around to notice?

HA! No one can feel safe anymore!

Comment by Greg Olear |Edit This
2009-06-06 01:29:04

They’d prefer poop of the feline vintage, if poop they sampled.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:08:45

I might be showing a prejudice here, but we’ve had zillions of cats through the years and NOTHING smells as bad as cat poop. I’m pretty sure that dog poop is superior in taste to cat poop.
You probably have nothing to worry about.

Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
2009-06-05 09:27:25

A toilet cup, huh? You guys DID have those cool Japanese toilets, though, right? Probably more sanitary than the sink. Ha! (Or did the toilet cup predate the cool, musical toilets? Or was it the reason for the purchase of them in the first place?) So many mysteries here from the Zion household…

Nope, can’t say that I blame Sara one bit for going veggie. She’s probably still in therapy for what she ate as a child. It’s a wonder she eats at all.

( :

Hilarious post, Mama Zion.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:31:24

Erika Rae!

We did not get the glorious Japanese toilets until after our trip to Japan two years ago.

There is no discernible reason for Sara’s thinking she had a cup for the special use of drinking out of the toilet!

Now I have to find out if she taught Lonny about the “Toilet Cup”.

And, I’m sorry to all you vegetarians and vegans, but THERE IS BACON IN THE WORLD! Who in their right mind would turn down BACON? Crispy, hot, spicy, wonderful BACON!

Comment by Cayt |Edit This
2009-06-06 02:27:47

I would, Irene. Sorry. Meat makes me so ill… even bacon isn’t worth it.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:11:00

Cayt,
Did you have some strange “food” cravings as a child? Ask your mother.
I think there may be a connection between odd cravings early on and vegetarianism later.
Just postulating here.

Comment by Amy |Edit This
2009-06-05 09:50:19

My mom says I was the one who ate dirt pies. I remember making them, but not eating them. To this day I am still not a picky eater. I guess you never know how they are going to turn out. My daughter Ashlynn (who is 14 months) is a picky eater. I hope this changes because my husband and I are not and we love to cook new things.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:34:39

Yeah, Amy, well get this:

Victor and I love to cook and eat new and wonderful things. But we had in mind things like sushi and bouilliabaisse and tapas and file gumbo. NOT DOG POOP!

Get ready.
You won’t even know until you are old and grey. They never tell you a thing until it is too late to do anything about it.

Trust me on this.

Comment by jmb |Edit This
2009-06-05 10:07:20

Ah the family Zion.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:35:15

11,

I need some support here.

Comment by amanda |Edit This
2009-06-05 10:31:22

My brother is also notoriously finicky, after getting off to a grand start on canned dog food and hard green dog biscuits…my dad used to gag into one hand while using the other to scoop masticated Doctor Ballards from my brother’s mouth. I don’t know how he developed a taste for the stuff–my chore once I was big enough to do small chores was feeding our poodle, and the smell wafting from the can was so putrid that I mastered holding my breath a really, really long time.

Now that he has a son of his own, I’ve been tormenting my brother with jokes about feeding his baby some meat. The doctor gave the all-clear a little while ago, and they’ve started with some bland veg. Joking about giving “meat” to the baby pushes my brother’s buttons to the point where he can’t even pretend he thinks it’s funny. He gets all pinchy-faced and chuckles in the voice of someone who’s going to punch you in a New York minute if you say that thing one more time.

Perhaps, like your daughter, he used up his adventuresome appetite young, compressing a lifetime of experimentation into eleven short months.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:37:45

You see, Amanda? Now he’s going to take his own weird background, which he alone is entirely to blame for, and foist it on his poor unsuspecting son, making him a girly vegan or something.
Tell him I said to MAN UP!

Comment by Amanda |Edit This
2009-06-06 05:01:13

My nephew is lucky enough to have a dad who believes in being prissy and a mom who believes in eating dirt and shoving clods of fresh-mown grass into your diaper (since you’re crawling around pantless and have no pockets for carrying stuff). I like to imagine the little guy will find a place in the middle ground and turn out a perfect (dirt-eating, room-tidying) angel.

….and if not then his Aunt Sissy (that’s me) will pick up the slack and teach him all about balance.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 05:13:53

Amanda,

It sounds like everything is covered for your nephew to grow up to be a healthy, well-rounded kid!
Good for you!

Comment by Melissa |Edit This
2009-06-05 12:01:19

OY VEY…you crack me up all the time. So Sara started that phrase. The one I told my ex as he left, You can’t make me say it , I am a good girl.

Melissa

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:38:55

You said “Toilet Cup” to him?
Melissa, that doesn’t even make sense.
You are hiding something deep and dark here, aren’t you!

Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-05 16:27:06

She’s referencing the coprophagia, I suspect.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 17:46:22

Dammit, Adam, you are just a kid and you made me look up a word. I have a very nice vocabulary, I’ll have you know. It just doesn’t include these sorts of words.
Or at least it didn’t.

Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-05 18:11:08

Being just a kid goes hand in hand with commanding this kind of vocabulary. We’re both showing ourselves for who we are, I’m afraid.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:12:37

Are you saying I’m an adult or an old hag here?
My response to you is dependent on knowing that.

Comment by Adam |Edit This
2009-06-06 05:09:39

I’m saying I’m apparently the type to have actively, independently learned a five-syllable word for eating shit, and you seem to have had no such inclination, which probably speaks to our respective characters and maturity levels in a more cerebral sense.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 11:56:22

Adam,
You know just what to say to calm down an insulted old lady!
You charmer, you!

Comment by Melissa |Edit This
2009-06-05 17:06:12

oh Irene are you going to make me say it? I told him to eat shit, among other things.

Melissa

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 17:49:32

Oh. Melissa. I’m SHOCKED!

(But, on the other hand, I’m right behind you!)

Comment by melissa (irene’s friend) |Edit This
2009-06-06 03:09:43

From now on, the people that get on my last nerve are going to be called TOILET CUP.
As, My son in law is a toilet cup.

Melissa

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:13:50

Eventually good things evolve from bad things.
I have many examples.
(But they are too serious for right now.)

Comment by Marni Grossman |Edit This
2009-06-05 12:12:42

Did you just give up, Irene? Just give up and let her eat whatever crossed her path? Live and let live?

It makes sense to me. Built up her immune system. Notice, if you will, that she didn’t have any stupid peanut allergies or gluten intolerance.

She was adorable!

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:43:51

Marni,

I have to say that I totally worked at never, ever seeing her eat dog shit again, but she ate the other stuff so fast and never seemed to have any bad effects at all. Except for the ear infections that were the scourge of the family, she never got sick.
I had two rules for her:
1.No dog shit.
2.No choking on big pieces of anything.
That worked out pretty well. She’s a totally healthy young woman now, except for her predilection for eating no BACON.

(That was MY dress she was wearing in the last photo. Both my girls wore it. Didn’t mean a thing to them, but it did to me.)

Comment by Dew(ed) |Edit This
2009-06-05 12:27:55

This was a fun read. My son eats everything and anything as well.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:44:50

Dew(ed)

Your son will be healthy as an ox. Just watch out for all that girly vegetarian stuff!

2009-06-05 13:25:51

It doesn’t matter what your kids eat (ate) I would make out with each and every one of them!!!

Oh, to be a child of the House of Zion.

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-05 14:46:34

Kimberly,

Savor every moment.
I’d give my life for ten minutes back with the five of them as little kids.
My life.

Comment by D.R. Haney |Edit This
2009-06-05 18:17:17

“Savor every moment” is good advice not just for parents but for everyone, and applicable to almost every situation.

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Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 04:15:01

Amen.

Comment by lonny |Edit This
2009-06-06 15:52:18

it wasnt all dog shit and used gum i assure you

Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
2009-06-06 17:26:57

Yeah, That’s true, lonny. (But is the normal stuff funny?)

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