"For my Hannah baby," the note read. "Remember to keep biscuits in airtight container." He signed off a note with an funny little self-portrait of himself (yes, he does things like that). I picked up the package. It was a bag of animal biscuits for kids.
I tore the bag open, brought it to my desk, and chomped on the biscuits as I tapped away at my laptop. But in the midst of my absent-minded chomping, I stopped short — wait, I thought, these aren't just any biscuits. They're animal biscuits.
It's a glum reality that every daddy's baby eventually has to grow up, and sometimes these cute babies become sedentary biscuit-gnawing lumps of matter that tap away at lighted screens from dawn to dusk. They forget how to play, how to imagine, how to fill their days with non-productive fun. Sometimes they even forget how to eat animal biscuits.
You can tell adults and children apart simply by observing how they eat animal biscuits. Adults chomp and wolf the whole thing down, with no apparent regard for the species, appearance and feelings of the animal in question. It is just a plain biscuit to them.
But children are different. They choose their species of biscuit carefully — flamingoes are nicer to eat because you can perfectly sink your teeth in the hook of their curved necks; but ducks are highly unpleasant because their dull shape leaves no room for tactile exploration in the mouth. And then comes the eating. Children don't scarf biscuits down the same way adults do. Rather, they first examine the animal. And then they slowly devour it — limb by limb, wing by wing (or head, if it is a giraffe).
There is nothing funnier than seeing a headless giraffe sitting on a limbless monkey on your plate.
I don't want to grow up. But I know all too well that sometimes you don't have a choice. Age catches up with you (at some point slightly beyond the threshold of childhood, you're bound to realize that you no longer qualify for the kids' meal at your favorite joint). Teachers and assignments catch up with you (in fact, they come running after you with red ink and raised voices and a telephone with your parents on the other end). Seriousness catches up with you.
All these things have caught up with me in some way or other. And as much as I disdain this, I've become a sedentary biscuit-gnawing lump of matter, tapping away at this lighted screen from dawn to dusk.
But no matter. At the very least, a tailless squirrel, headless lion and hornless rhino are cheering me on from my plate.