Monday Funday–And that’s when my wife stopped breathing….

One Sunday evening when PlaysWithFire was about six we were headed to church services, and he nearly killed his mother.

(The names in this post have been changed to protect the innocent from undue humiliation)

At our church there’s another family with kids around the same age as our boys, except that their three youngest are all girls.  We spend a lot of time together and at this point I really consider them more family than friends.

So it wasn’t a surprise when from the backseat we hear PlaysWithFire ask, “Mommy, after church can we go to the Smith’s house to play?”

“Sure buddy, probably so.  We’ll see.”

Then we heard a six year old’s voice-trembling with anticipation-reply from the backseat, “Good.  I can’t wait to play with Suzy’s nibbles again.”


And that’s when my wife stopped breathing.


Now if you have kids you know how perceptive they can be.  If they pick up on the fact that you’re freaking out, they’ll completely lock up.

So I tried to just play it cool, but as I glanced over at Megan I could see that she literally wasn’t breathing.  At all.  So as much as I wanted to ease into this train wreck of a conversation, I knew I only had a couple of minutes before my wife died from a lack of oxygen.

Me (casually glancing over my shoulder)-What buddy?  I couldn’t hear you.

PlaysWithFire-I wanna play with Suzy’s nibbles.

At this point Megan not only isn’t breathing, she has an absolute death grip on my arm and is going to snap it in two if this conversation doesn’t get better pretty quick.

Me-Her nibbles huh?  Did you play with them last time?  I didn’t hear about that.

PlaysWithFire-Yep.  She has two of them.

And now Megan not only isn’t breathing and breaking my arm, she lets out an involuntary grunt as she begins convulsing.  I was pretty sure that she was going to vomit all over the dashboard of our car.

Me (glancing back at him as I stare at Megan’s epileptic-like twitching)-Oh really?

At this point PlaysWithFire raises both hands up in front of his face, squints his eyes, grins, and begins to rub each thumb and forefinger together.

PlaysWithFire-Yep.  I love to pet them both.

Megan’s involuntary grunt has transformed into a low, guttural growl.  Not a mean growl…she wasn’t particularly angry.  If you had a tiger / alligator hybrid, who was tranquilized and having drug-induced nightmares about her cubgators, I imagine that’s the sound she would make.

And to be honest, my head is pounding.  I’m already two hours into the future, having to sit down and have a conversation with my closest friend about things that I’m totally unprepared for.

But through the mental cloud that’s filling my mind I tune in to that word…  I’m a father of three kids, I’m a little experienced in the petting department.  But although I’m familiar with what “petting” is as it relates to “nibbles”, I’m not sure that anyone has used that term to describe nibble-related activities since around 1934.  Where would my six year old have heard that?  It just didn’t make any sense….

And then it hit me.

Me-Oh, you mean her GERBILS?

PlaysWithFire-Yeah!  That’s the word!