Flora: Mom! You have to come see this, it’s so cool! The mushrooms we picked in the orchards are full of maggots!
[A little while later]
Jane: Flora? Babe, can I please, please, please throw out the magotty mushrooms now?
Flora: Oh, ok.
Jane: Thank you.
Flora: But you can’t throw out the maggots!
Jane: Baby, you are not raising maggots.
Flora: They’re living creatures! And look, they’re all white and cute and squirmy.
Jane: I’m going to vomit. Flora, they turn into flies. They’re gross. They need to go.
Flora: Fine. You can get rid of them. But you can’t kill them.
Jane: How the hell am I supposed to do that?
I interrupt here my favourite technique for sharing these moments with you–via raw dialogue–to spare you the prolonged exchanged that followed, which doesn’t really show me to the world in the best light. On the plus side, I didn’t vomit.
Jane: That was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever done. Flora, house rule #–where are we Cinder?
Jane: House rule #714. No maggots anywhere near the house. Ever.
Cinder: I thought boys were grosser than girls, generally speaking. But Flora’s pretty hard to top sometimes. I mean, I think me and Ender are grosser in, like, theory–but Flora’s way grosser in practice.
Flora: What! You’re calling me gross? Want me to smear maggot on your face?
Jane: Look! Earthworm! Cute earthworm!
Ender: I eat it!
Flora: No! I’m coming to save you, earthworm!
I blame The Wonder Pets. Josh Selig, are you aware of the depths of suffering you’ve caused?
I’m on my way back! Almost home. And I’m sure I’ll have plenty of gross, er, funny stories to share… Because Cinder, Flora and Ender don’t change much even when the geographical locus does…