This year’s garden had three unexpected residents: crooked neck squash.
I like squash just fine (sautéed in bacon grease with onions, thankyouverymuch) but Cara and Ollie hadn’t ever been exposed to the vegetable. This was a “teaching moment” and the kids would grow to love the bumpy, funny shaped, yummy, yellow things.
Little problem though. I had never grown squash so I couldn’t fully appreciate just how…energetic the triplets would be in their production. Let me just say, y’all, we had some squash, let me tell ya.
Our house was quickly being overrun by squash and I started sneaking the stuff into everything.
I was a squash sneaking ninja. Ninja!
Tucker would catch me (often) but just mildly grumble. He did it good-naturedly. We joked about it. I never offered up the ninja squash fare (meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, unnamed casseroles…) with big squash chunks; the squash was chopped finely. Promise.
After about two weeks, as I was calling everyone to dinner, I suppose Tucker finally reached his breaking point.
I sat down whatever it was I had cooked, Tucker cast an assessing eye over it and asked one simple question:
“Is there squash in this?”
You know how someone can ask a really simple question but by the look on their face there’s no way in hell you want to answer that question?
Tucker’s jaw developed this tiny tick thing. His face reddened a little. One word to describe him at that moment? Pissed.
“You know how you feel about blue cheese?” he asked.
Author’s note/aside/thingie: Since you probably don’t know, I abhor blue cheese. To the point you could present me with the most beautifully cooked medium-rare rib-eye but cover it in blue cheese and there is no way in hell I would eat it. Lot of hate going on there.
The kids and I just kind of stared at him.
“I hate squash just as much as you hate blue cheese!”
Tucker’s voice got a bit louder and a bit more forceful with each word. His face just a tad deeper shade of really, really angry.
Here’s this grown man who had been eating squash (which apparently he despised) all these dinners just so he could set a good example for his kids and he couldn’t keep it together any longer.
“Do you really think, if you had said this to me a couple of weeks ago I would have kept putting squash in everything?” I asked.
“Well I thought you’d stop eventually!” he shouted.
Three Months Later
I stopped at the foot of our bed to talk to Tucker on the way through to our bathroom.
We have a tall bed and the mattress hits me right around the top of my thighs.
As I spoke, I rocked forward and back a tiny bit, my thighs gently hitting the mattress. I yammered on (I’m sure it was something mind-blowingly important.) for a bit, rocking back and forth, softly bumping the mattress the entire time.
Tucker lowered his iPad, just far enough so I could see his eyes, and calmly asked me to stop bumping the bed.
But I was feeling rather playful and since I obviously have no instincts of self-preservation, I drummed on the mattress with both hands and then kicked it for good measure.
Not to put too fine of a point on it, but Tucker lost his shit.
Down went the iPad. Up popped Tucker. He was madder than a cat tossed in an ice bath with a plugged in toaster followed closely behind.
“I have asked you, several times, not to hit the bed!” he bellowed. Like for real. The sound he made? A bellow.
“You hit the bed and the bed shakes me and hits my head against the wall! Stop. It.”
By that point, of course I had already stopped unconsciously bumping the mattress and had definitely stopped feeling playful.
I stood there, mouth handing a bit open, in wonder at Tucker’s…fit. He utterly flew off the handle.
“Do you really think I would have bumped the bed and then messed around like that if I knew it bothered you like this? Really?!”
Then it hit me. Like a bumpy, funny shaped, yummy, yellow thing right upside the head.
“This is like the squash thing, isn’t it?!” I had quickly gone from dumbfounded to pissed. OK. Maybe not so much pissed as really, really indignant.
“If you had told me about either of these things right from the start, right when they started bothering you, then these things would keep happening!”
I’m sure, as I’m sure you’re sure, I had other amazingly awesome things to indignantly spout before I stomped off.
With very indignant stomps, in case you were wondering.
So, if you ever hear me refer to something as a “squash thing” to Tucker, you now know what I’m talking about.
You’re now part of the Inner Squash Thing Circle.