Pimples and Parsnips

"Mom, what is a pimple?" Frac inquired as I was peeling potatoes for a stew I had stupidly thought my children would eat with out gagging and complaining.

"The dictionary describes a pimple as a small hard inflamed spot on the skin. I would call it a raging sack of pus buried in our skin which only rears it's ugly evil head whenever you are meeting someone new, important or really cute. That, or it pops up when you have to have your picture taken. Either way, it's not pretty."

As I reached for a rutabaga to hide in the stew, I looked over at him and asked, "Why do you ask?"

"Just wondering. What's a zit?" He looked at the root vegetable in my hand and shuddered.

"The dictionary defines a zit as a synonym to the word pimple. I define a zit as a raging pain in my ass, murdering my self esteem with it's appearance and immediately reminding me of what an awkward raging geek I was as a teen."

Plopping the rutabaga into the pot, I reached for a parsnip and asked "Why so interested in zits and pimples? Do you have one?" I peer over my stack of vegetables waiting to be peeled to peruse his pristine, porcelaine white skin.

"No. I was just wondering. Do you have to put parsnips in the stew?" he whined.

"Yep. They'll protect you from the pimples. And make you grow big and tall like your father. Plus they were free, I got them off our neighbour who apparently had a parsnip bumper crop and I have no other idea how to get rid of them."

"Oh." Silence. I looked over as I reached for a turnip and saw that Frac was staring intently at me. Creepy like.

"What? It's not a parsnip, it's a turnip. You like turnips," I said as I waggled it in front of him.

"Nobody likes turnips, Mom." Again, still staring at me like a zombie.

"Is there a problem, Frac? Cuz you're freaking me out. Quit staring. Now. I'll have nightmares."

"You might want to put more parsnips in the stew Mom. You need some protection from pimples. You have a big one right on your chin." That was why he was staring. He was mesmerized by the mountainous growth festering on my chin.

"Gee, thanks Frac," I responded dryly. "I should have mentioned that at a certain time of the month, women battle their hormones while turning into raging shrews and are more prone to grow a zit to call their own during this special time. We like to nurture and care for it because it reminds us of our special power...the ability to grow a human to love and torment. Pimples grown during this time are a special gift from nature," I blathered on, hoping he was buying this drivel as I peeled a carrot. "I should have also mentioned it's rude to point out a blemish to a woman. You're liable to be beaten to death for such an infraction."

"Oh. Sorry Mom," he shrugged. "I just thought only teenagers got zits. It looks painful," he said as he leaned over to poke at it.

Swatting his hand away, I glared at him and grabbed another carrot to peel away my frustration of having children that talk. Oh, how I miss the mute kid who drooled at times like this.

"Hmm. I hope I don't get any of those things. That looks painful."

"Hence the parsnips, my boy. Eat up and learn. If only my mother had taught me this wisdom," I lamented.

"Ya. If she did you wouldn't look like this now." So innocent. So clueless. So absolutely in danger and not even realizing it.


"Ya Mom?"

"You're cuter when you don't talk. Learn from this."

"Fine," he muttered as he wandered away to go burn some brain cells on the X-box. "I know you don't mean that. It's just the zit talking."

Unbelievable. I wonder if I put him on Freecycle if I'll have any takers.