It's a bird! It's a brain! No, it's dinner and hilarity and a cat. You guys! Doesn't my omelet look like a cross-section of brain? Three eggs, thyme and parsley, salt and pepper and some Bûcheron (aged goat cheese) made for an outstanding meal. Despite its appearance. I ate it with one of those slices of bread (the seriously buttered one) and then slathered the other slice with some plum-basil jam and called it dessert. Mah-velous!

After school today, I suggested to the boys that we walk to Starbucks and get a little treat. On the way, Jack described his class discussion on James and the Giant Peach and then asked: "Mom, do you know that the centipede is VERY rude AND says bad words?"

Oliver, mischievously gimlet-eyed, queried, "Ooh, what words?"

Me: "Yeah, what words? Like actual bad words?" as I thought to myself, "Did Roald Dahl actually write cuss words in his text? That's a bit awesome."

Jack: "Well, the centipede calls everyone idiots and dimwits and ninecompoops [sic] and...." His voice dropped to a whisper and I said "It's NINcompoop, not ninecompoop" just before he said, "the A-word."

Me: "What's the A-word?"

Jack, in a whisper: "Ass and asses."

Oliver, not in a whisper: "I know! Asshole!"

Jack: "Oh my god, Oliver, NO!"

Me: "Good lord, Oliver. I appreciate that you know that it starts with an A though. Wow!"

At that point I decided to be honest with the children and share my opinion that cuss words are extant for a reason: They don't do the job of their vanilla compatriots. Darn is most definitely not damn in many a sitch.

I mean, "That darn thief. He robbed me blind. What a butt!" does NOT, in any way, express what does, "That damn thief! What an asshole!"

You feel me?

So I said I rather admired Dahl and his centipede's authenticity and that if cussing and coffee and wine were my worst vices as I raised the boys, really, they'll be fine.

They tittered and seemed to concur. We were a jovial trio until Oliver went ape because I refused to buy him his own copy of the "Cook's One Line a Day" five-year culinary memory book that I bought for myself on clearance. Does he cook or much read? No. So really, what is he going to do with said journal, even if it was only $3.97.

Anyway, once home he cried for a good 20 while Jack and I ignored him. And then suddenly, we noticed the most magnificent sunset which ended all too quickly but brought a terrific quiet over the house. Then we realized Nutmeg had escaped, but bygones.

He finally came home and in typically self-aggrandizing fashion went and sat by the gifts I put under the tree today. He really is a hot mess of a present, and I love him.