I was so needing some new material and you know it really is magical how you think out in the universe (as opposed to those times when I am out of the universe) about needing some new material and voila … a Qantas plane flies over and drops you your very own teenager.
Does it get any better than this?
Alexandria: “Hey what about that Vejja … vejjasomething that everyone talks about?”
Me: “Vegemite. Wanna try some?”
She was so excited when she said yes. She jumped up on one of the stools at the kitchen counter and waited there like a little kid waiting for icecream and for like a nanosecond I considered I should probably not do this but then, you know, the nanosecond passed as they are wont to do, and so I went to the pantry and pulled out the Vegemite.
I gave her the spiel.
The spiel is about how good vegemite is for you, one of the best foods ever, the richest source of Vitamin B, blah blah. I talked about its legendary healing properties, and all the urban legends about people who had their leg gnawed off in the wilderness by their hungry fellow plane crash victims and how they slathered vegemite over it and it grew back and everyone was rescued. I praised it. I sang songs and worshiped the jar. I burned incense and sacrificed a lamb and made sure we said Amen a bunch of times before I delivered it to her hands.
It was a very special moment. Another Canadian being welcomed, with open arms, into the bosom of all things Australian.
She opened the jar and sniffed.
I said, ” it kinda smells like Soya sauce right?”
And then she stuck her finger in and took a big scoop of it out and put it in her mouth.
Time stood still. I watched as her lips closed over her finger and then her taste buds started to scream and the flavour registered with her brain.
And she made this face where her eyes opened and then rolled and then her eyes, her nose and her mouth sort of all squished up together to become this one big angry wrinkle in the middle of her face.
And she was up and dancing and tears were running down her cheeks.
And then she was spitting in the sink and splashing water in her mouth and then she put her whole mouth over the tap and the water was coming out of her nose and ears. I heard her call for her mommy.
She ran to the bathroom and got a wash cloth … and soap … and was scrubbing her tongue.
She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I thought it was going to be something like Nutella!”
“Nope … it’s not.”
Sometimes it is just best to state the obvious and let it all sink in and the layers of revelation just reveal themselves as they are able to absorb. I could have told her that most people spread it very thinly on a piece of toast and don’t try to lick it from the jar but I am a firm believer in letting kids find their own way … and watching of course … it is really incredibly entertaining.
I am going to have to get a movie camera. I think that one could have gone viral.