Oh wonderful glorious Cheesy Poofs! Dearly beloved, we are gathered here together in celebration of orange fingertips, salty crunchy goodness, and non-nutritive extraneous fat grams. We wallow in the profound sensorial pleasures exclusively derived from stuffing one's mouth with corny crunchy cheesy poofy curls. Licking one's fingers is merely a bonus. Actually that's the gross part, but it comes with the territory and is part of the overall experience. Can't be avoided, so might as well embrace it? Resistance is futile.
I introduced Alice to cheesy poofs last week. Who's Alice? Why Alice is the newest member of our family! My step-sister Joan adopted her from Guatemala and brought her home just this past May. She's fourteen months old and, as many babies can be, is most adorable. Part of me feels terrible for plying her with junk food but in my defense, isn't that a prerogative of an aunt? The cheesy poofs were Utz brand. No sane individual can resist Utz brand cheesy poofs. I was merely testing her sanity. By the way she snatched that cheesy poof from my hand and instinctively took one happy bite and then another while gripping it in her steely grasp, I have deemed her mental health certifiably stable. At least for the time being. The long term experiment, that of Joan being her mom, may eventually erase all traces of sanity. That's a joke. I think.
It had been a while since Wendy or I were around a baby for longer than a day. We both really like babies. What's not to like? And Alice in particular is easy to like. Friendly, sweet, independent, adorable. She greeted us with her newest skill: a sweet kiss on the cheek. After that display, resistance was futile in her case also. I'd gush about her cute sundresses and pajamas and swimsuits but that would be a little over the top. Instead I'll gush about how she took to the sand and surf and made it her own. Fall down in the sand? No problem! Hop right back up and totter around some more. Get a mouthful of sand? No problem! Crunch it a bit then spit it out. Slide into a hole someone dug? No problem! Climb right back out, slide in again, and play peek-a-boo over the edge. Waves? No problem! Chilly ocean? No problem! Bring it on! Bonnet power!!
In addition to cheesy poofs, I contributed to Alice's eating education in another important way. We all walked down to the boardwalk after dinner one evening for ice cream. Joan spooned a few bites into Alice's mouth. She liked it of course. I had my ice cream on a cone. Soft-serve peppermint. On a cake cone. Squatting down by the stroller, I demonstrated to Alice how to lick ice cream from a cone. She caught on quick, that little girl. Her tongue snaked right out and expertly licked my proffered cone. I'm certain the look of intense satisfaction on her face was not my imagination.
Welcome to America, Alice. We're glad you are here.