At a very relaxed, totally off-schedule, lunch with the new Preschool "graduate", he asked the following:
Babe: "Mom? Can we get monkeys to put in the backyard? We have a big enough space and a fence so they won't get out."
LONGGGGG pause from yours truly.
Me: "Well, what about the fact that monkeys like to climb, and, if they go to the top of the trees, they'll be well above the fence line and they could get out. I don't think our neighbors would like that."**
Babe (pondering): "I didn't think of that."
Me (still totally treating this situation as if it MIGHT happen in his lifetime): "I guess we'd have to buy a HUGE net to put over the entire yard so they couldn't get out."
Babe (eyes light up/smiling): "YEAH. That's a good idea Mom."
Me: "But what would we feed the monkeys?"
Babe: "Well. They eat bananas. And dog food."
Me (quizzically): "Dog food? Really? How do you know that?"
Babe (very seriously): "Because my friend has monkeys in his backyard and they feed them dog food."***
Me (still very quizzical): "REALLY??! Who?"
Babe (wheels cranking in his brain): "UM." Serious pause. "Brian."****
Me (trying to restrain my laughter): "What kind of monkeys do they own?"
Babe: "Chimpanzees. And that's what I want."
Me: "Well. We'll have to look into the Dallas City laws to see if we can have monkeys like our neighbors. And stock up on dog food. And buy a BIG net."
Babe (eyes smiling): "I love you, Mom."
Me: "I love you, too, sugar."
Now, let's just hope that our planned trip to the zoo doesn't dredge this conversation back up again.
*This is a totally random reference to Wayne's World. For some incredibly juvenile reason, this always makes me laugh until I almost cry.
**If I've learned ANYTHING about raising children it is that, sometimes, it is easier to go down the "That completely random, inconceivably ridiculous idea, is SO worth talking about" path than it is to try to explain "UM, NO."
***We've hit that phase where the little guy is testing the "lying waters" and is trying to see if we'll catch him. Newsflash: Yes we are. And I still contend that you are much.too.young to be doing this.
****Name changed to protect identity. But, I will share that these are our next door neighbors and they most definitely DON'T have monkeys invading their backyard, don't have plans to acquire a monkey, and this post will probably confirm their sneaking suspicions that we are loony.