Yesterday Lynnette and I unearthed a cover-up taking place right under our noses. Our eyes were opened to the truth of a situation to which we had long been blind.
Yesterday afternoon Abby joined Cole and Avery in the I’m-Just-Going-To-Go-Ahead-And-Throw-Up-Now Club. The twins were crying and I couldn’t hear my Law and Order. Abby puked on the carpet near the couch and Madison made Lynnette and I aware of it. A few minutes later she threw up again, but right under my desk chair. “What did she eat?” I asked rhetorically. I scooped up the vomit and held my breath while I inspected the napkin. It looked like plastic zip ties and fishing line.
“What did you guys eat for lunch?” I asked Lynnette. “My mom and I ate dim sum,” Lynnette said. “Your dad, too?” I asked. “No, he came later. He ate pho,” she said. I drew the napkin closer. I CSI’d it. “Is that what this is, then?” I asked. “Noodles and bean sprouts?” Lynnette walked over with a wailing baby in her arms. She took a look. “Yeah,” she said. She text messaged her dad to confirm. He did feed it to her. We’ve asked him not to feed her table food in the past.
I washed the dishes after dinner. I don’t know about you, but when I do the dishes, my mind wanders. I mean really. I do my best thinking in the shower, but I also do solid work while plodding through menial tasks. My hands were covered in soap suds and I guess for obvious reasons, I started thinking about Abby and Lynnette’s dad feeding Abby. And then I had one of these moments:
I turned off the faucet. “Lynnette,” I said. She walked over. “What?” she said. “He’s been feeding her all this time,” I said. “What?” Lynnette said. “Abby. Your dad’s been feeding Abby all along,” I said.
*Whenever Lynnette’s dad calls Abby, he extends his arm and cups his hand to pretend he has a snack for her. He says things like “You want?” Abby rarely listens. Initially, I thought that he did this simply because he thought it would work on her. But I never asked the follow-up question until last night: Why would he think it would work on her? BECAUSE HE FEEDS HER.
*Whenever we have dinner at our place, Lynnette, her parents, and Madison sit at the dinner table. I sit at the island. Without fail, Abby bolts to my father in-law’s seat, props herself up, then barks at him. “Abby, I can’t feed you,” and “You cannot have this,” he’ll say. Abby does not behave this way toward anyone else. Last night I realized why: BECAUSE HE FEEDS HER.
Granted, these are theories with logical conclusions, but still. No hard evidence. Until this afternoon. I sweated Abby Briscoe-and-Curtis-style and she confessed.