It was an odd bit of a holiday weekend, which included:
1. Snip, Snap, Snorem
2. Huge Cadbury chocolate bars my brother-in-law brought back from London
3. Cow Racing
4. Poke Cake
5. Visiting my grandfather’s grave, which later resulted in my niece G. suggesting we leave some poke cake there since it was his favorite
6. Late-season strawberry picking
7. ATV rides through the woods, courtesy of my dad (wearing a helmet a la Snoopy’s Red Baron
8. Much talk about pigs – to wit:
G. (almost 8) has always liked pigs. Ever since she was little she has slept with a pink stuffed pig (named Piggy, of course), and a few years ago she acquired a smaller pink stuffed pig (named Piglet, but it’s not the Winnie-the-Pooh sort of Piglet) that gets lugged around a lot. Recently, G. decided that what she really wants most in this world is a REAL baby pig to keep in her bedroom. She plans on winning this pig at the local fair’s upcoming pig scramble. (To the uninitiated, a pig scramble is where they take a bunch of baby pigs, grease them up, let them loose in a big muddy pen, then let many more children than there are pigs loose with burlap sacks. You catch a pig, you keep it.) G. witnessed this event last year and has apparently spent a lot of time strategizing, much to the chagrin of my sister who has vowed that no real piggies will ever darken her doorstep (or her yard, for that matter). And, while I will happily cat-sit, there are no piggies in my future either.
This whole thing has disappointment all over it – her name might not get chosen to compete, she might get to compete and not get a pig, and even if she does get one it’s simply not going to be allowed to take up residence in the corner of her bedroom. She is undeterred by any of it. My own suggestion that the potential winning pig be allowed to live out its days with our cousin, who owns a farm and has taken in several other pig scramble pigs won by relatives over the years, was met with the utmost disdain that can be marshaled by an indignant almost-8 year old: “My PIG is NOT going to a PIG FARMER.” (stamps foot)
Well, okay then.
But it gets better. Or worse, depending on one's viewpoint. Like many kids, there are about five things G. will eat, and her parents have been trying to walk that fine line between cultivating good nutritional habits and trying not to make a big deal of what is probably a phase she will in all likelihood outgrow. Getting her to try new things has been a challenge, but for some reason this weekend she conceded to try my mother’s pork ribs. By this time there had been so much talk of pigs that the last thing I wanted to do was eat one, and I was pretty surprised to see G. dig in….at least until she brandished a rib she had picked clean and said, “Wow, this is tiny, it must have come from a really small cow!”
And then we passed around the poke cake.