Maleness abounds, a pompano

Today was one of those I wrap up and think, "Lady, you done good. You might be tired and feel wrinkly, but you were a terrific mom and got a lot done. Hell, you even took off your PJs for the majority of the daytime hours." This is quite something.

To and while at the market, Oliver and I had a full-on, one-hour conversation about his being Spiderman (for real) and how I was in no danger because he would keep me safe (adorable) by slinging webs at all the bad guys out there wielding hammers ("like that bad guy in the white car in front of us, Mom." -is he a) paranoid? b) channeling some pre-birth memory of the DC sniper's purported WHITE CAR?, or c) just looking immediately in front of us? I suspect C but it's worth considering the options). I expressed such enormous gratitude for his bodyguard behavior and then suggested he choose his fish for dinner. Salmon of course, but "can I touch the fish eyeballs?" The fishmonger overheard this comment and dispensed with gloves immediately. I felt like a heel because I always let the boys touch the fish eyeballs withOUT even considering they don gloves. I do have them wipe their hands off with one of those anti-bac wipes afterwards, but perhaps I'm just livin' like crazy.

Anyway, Ol put on this enormous latex barrier and promptly plugged each fish in the eye. Poor fish: dead but still being treated like one of the Three Stooges.

While watching Ol poke eyes, I recalled watching the making of fish stock this past Saturday and decided, what the hell, we'll get one of these lovely fish, I'll butcher it and then make stock with the head and bones and such. I did have the fishmonger gut and mostly de-fin the pompano I chose because I deal with enough guts-like stuff in my daily life already (uh- did I mention Percy pooped in the laundry? Riiight, another story for another time. NO good).

my pompano

So, I'm feeling bold and Oliver's carrying on about how he is going to chop the fish's head off and I'm wondering if people think he's a little off but whatever, I like his spirit and think it's rather funny to be in some sort of cock-fight with a not-yet-four-year-old about who's going to behead the pompano. We get home, and I put my fish in the fridge.

Fast forward several hours, and the boys are inhaling grilled salmon with capers, red beans and apples whilst getting progressively more undressed. Finally, I think they must surely be satiated, and Jack, chomping gum like a heathen, asks for marshmallows. I said, "Doodle, if you eat more salmon and red beans, you may have marshmallows." He proceeds to pop some salmon, a few beans, a rogue caper into his mouth and about 10 seconds later, casually pulls the wad of watermelon + strawberry layers gum he's STILL BEEN CHEWING out one side of his mouth so he can more easily/safely/whatever swallow the savory bits in mastication.

Y'all, no female would do this. I swear to you that if that sounds sexist, I don't mean it to be but it might, simply, just be correct. Meanwhile, Oliver starts making a case for marshmallows and I tell him the same thing: more salmon, more beans. He, however, is naked and perched like a pyramid on his feet and head. Where are his hands? Well, I'll tell you. They're gripping his b-cheeks and pretty much making them say hi. Now, I do know one darling little girl, P, who might consider doing this, but otherwise, I say again, SO boy. By this point, I'm just going with the flow so I said, "Ol, you may not approach any food until you wash your hands with soap and water." He did.

Marshmallows are an allure adults just can't understand.

Five minutes later, I announce bath-time and the boys respond with crazed pleas of starvation. Seriously? They want muffins. MUFFINS. At least this is an item I keep an enormous stockpile of in my freezer. They eat two each, TWO, and huge amounts of milk. The issue here is that because they've already dirtied some ludicrous amount of glassware, I insist they share the glass of milk. No sooner did I assert this than naked Oliver slings the glass (a glass glass) of milk across the table like he's sending a beer down the bar to a sad man at a saloon.

The milk spilled everywhere.

I was so WTF that I tried not to laugh, but I did. Oliver was vexed; he'd prepped for getting in trouble and couldn't figure out why I was laughing, so he laugh-cried. Friends, I opened a bottle of wine at this point. Can you fault me?

Their bath was a relatively calm one with only a handful of penile jokes and references. And then, to bed.

Now, after all this, I felt like I'd gained enough testosterone via proximity that I could surely go deal with that waiting pompano.

I've never cut a fish's head off.

my pompano's soulful face

Mr. Pompano looked positively soulful, and his fluke was handsome. I cleaved him with the utmost respect and swear I will make stock with his remainders tomorrow so as to not waste a bit. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I decided to go all pad thai with Mr. P so grilled and then tossed him with some rice noodles, rice vinegar, soy, peanut, ginger, garlic, etc. This was nothing to write home about but was comforting in a cold-Chinese-noodle leftovers way. And really, it is always nice to do something new. Something during which you ask yourself, "WTF?", and then proceed.

my pompano's fluke