There’s this game we play around here. It’s called Eat You. That wasn’t the original name. The original name was I’m Gonna Get You! Catchy, I know. The “rules” were pretty simple: Bub and I would be in the same room, bored, and I would eventually just say “I’m gonna get you!” He would run shrieking into the dining room, where I would chase him around and around the table.
Eventually, my large lung capacity and stride advantage would prove to be too much for young Bub, and he would again fall victim to being another hot meal for Zombie Daddy.
Armarmamarrmrarrmm. Burp. Game over.
Bub eventually started to get a bit more brazen, despite his lackluster win-loss record. I’d be doing the dishes and he’d kind of saunter in like, ‘Hey, nothing to see here, just taking a little walk with bankie and looking at some magnets and stuff,’ and then:
Some things, it turns out, just don’t translate outside of the house.
Segue to the playground. Bit chilly, only a few kids there. Bub wanted to play Eat You! but I just wasn’t feeling it, so I redirected him to the playset.
A few minutes later, I was playing with my phone, when against the steely sky, I hear:
“EAT YOUUUU!” I instinctively popped up, assumed zombie gait. But then I realized he wasn’t talking to me. He was standing in front of the slide, taunting a girl in a Dora jacket. Smooth, Bub.
So I walked over just in time to see the girl blurbling to her mother:
“Mommy, he said he’s going to eat me.”
And her mom started getting all pissy, looking at Bub like HOW DARE YOU, YOUNG MAN? and then she spotted me attempting to slink away.
“Excuse me, is this your son?”
“Who, him? Nope, never seen hi…”
“Hi, Daddy!” Bub screamed. Shit.
“Oh, that one, yes. Why, is there a problem?”
“He just threatened to eat my daughter.”
“Oh, no,” I chuckled. Her eyes narrowed. “He didn’t mean literally, like, eat your daughter. He’s a VERY picky eater, actually. He was just playing this game we play at home. I think he just thought that everybody else played the game, too.”
“What kind of game is this, exactly—Baby Cannibal?”
“No, that’s gross. It’s called Eat You. That wasn’t the original name, but never mind. Anyway, I am Zombie Daddy, and I chase him around going ‘Eat you, eat you!’ and then I catch him and pretend to devour him. It’s fun. The kids love it.”
And some things don’t really seem that weird until you say them out loud.
“Honey, grab your sippy cup,” she said, mentally noting the make and model of our stroller. “It’s time to go.”
Then Bub, God love him, looks at the girl being hastily shoved into her stroller and says:
“No eat you?”
“No, Bub, not this time,” I interjected. Cue the Charlie Brown music. “But don’t worry, I’ll eat you when we get home, okay buddy?”