My wife Judy called me into the living room and when I arrived, she said, “Look at what your little girl is doing?” I said, “That is just like you, when she is doing something wrong, she is my little girl, but I am not the one who gave her a cup of milk without a lid and her sippy straw. You know that Erica is only supposed to get milk during her meals or snack time, as the pediatrician clearly stated that could lead to tooth decay. I think it is a very funny picture, so I will get my phone and post this on Facebook.” Judy said, “Don’t do that, as I don’t want everyone seeing our daughter eating off of the floor like an animal. We might be questioned by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency and end up having Erica taken away from us for because they think that we are bad parents.”
I took the picture with my phone, but I didn’t post it online and then I picked Erica up off the floor and told her that there are probably germs on the floor and that eating anything that is on the floor could lead to health problems. I told her about the 3 second rule, where it is ok to eat something that was dropped on the floor only if it is picked up in 3 seconds or less and if it is laying there for more than 3 seconds, then it has to be thrown away. I asked Erica to count to three for me and she did, and then I told Judy, “Now she is my girl, as she is so smart.”
Judy remarked on how the cats were enjoying their special treat and that as soon as they were done, she would mop the floor. I chased the cats away from the spill and told Judy that this is probably going to make them all sick. I said, “Kittens can feed off of their mother’s milk, but after they reach 6 months old, they lose their ability to produce the enzyme lactase, so then they can no longer break down or digest lactose, resulting in bad news for their stomach and digestive system. Kittens lose their ability to process milk after being weaned, so our cats are too old to be lapping up milk.” Judy said, “I always see cats drinking milk on TV and in the Tom & Jerry cartoons, Tom waits for the milk deliveryman to bring a bottle of milk to the door.” I told Judy that there is a big difference between real life and cartoons.
Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #174.