Ancient History

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Cheese is not a toy…

Last night at our church’s marriage study group, one of the other couples told me that they had spent the last four weeks thinking about something I had said the last time we met. I thought, gosh, I must have important spiritual insight!

No, it wasn’t that. I am no Mother Theresa or even Tammy Faye. Weeks ago I had told the group that I was glad to be there because it was nice to have adult conversation. That particular day I had actually told Sammy (age 4) that “cheese is not a toy!” My point was that I spent my days saying phrases that should never have to be uttered, ever. Like “cheese is not a toy!” The other couple got a chuckle out of the phrase and had to let me know.

Then I started thinking. Was “cheese is not a toy!” a lie? The day in question Sammy had been wrapping his Thomas the Tank Engine trains in slices of American cheese. Since American cheese is so malleable, it was only natural that he would decide that his little wooden trains needed to be rolled up like burritos in orange faux dairy. To make the cheese stick, he squeezed the trains in his dirty little mitts. Percy, normally green, became orange, as did the formerly blue Gordon and the bright red James. But he didn’t stop there!

He laid out more pieces of cheese on the end table in the living room and drove the engines’ plastic wheels through the slices, carving little tracks, blazing little trails. Cheese got bunched up around the wheels and ground into the grain of the wood. I used a spatula to scrape the cheese off the table and the engines got a bath.

Just when I thought that Cheese Day was drawing to a close, Sammy tore several pieces into small squares and applied them to his face. I hunted for the digital camera, only to discover dead batteries. The cheese dried rapidly and began to fall off. I got the batteries changed and thought about recreating the event by personally sticking cheese back onto his face. That seemed like a “bad mommy” kind of thing, though. I could picture him telling his preschool teacher that “mommy smashes cheese on my face”, so the photo op came and left.

I realized last night that maybe Sammy was a genius. He had a point. Anything could be a toy…yes, anything. American cheese is non-toxic (some may disagree), a sunny color, and has sort of a funky smell (but so do kids). It is basically dairy-based Play-doh.

This Christmas, cheese in everyone’s stockings!

2 comments to Cheese is not a toy…

  • Aunt Judy

    Gretchen, so glad your mom sent us info on this website. I LOVED reading your little stories, and of course, knowing the characters involved makes it even better reading. I kept thinking as I was reading these that they will really be a treasure for your children when they have grown up. Keep the stories coming…I’m sure there is no shortage of material to work with on a daily basis. So sorry about Zelda too. She was an especially sweet dog, and I know she will be really missed by all. Love and hugs, Aunt Judy

  • Momofmopsy

    I don’t know that I will ever look at sliced cheese the same way again.

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