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Meet Mr. Ketchup. The creature who saved me.

It was a Wednesday. Which meant one thing: I had been solo with the girls for an entire day. And they had, as per custom, kicked my booty. I was tired. Very. And it was dinner time. Which sometimes doubles as the whiny, witching hour.

The girls were tired and hungry. Toddler was a puddle of tears. I put them in their highchairs-cum-barstools. I placed their very favorite dinner in front of them: (organic!) chicken nuggets and (organic!) potato letters. This did not distract. We had ourselves a maddening melody of tears.

I stood there. Barefoot and exasperated in my kitchen. About to wave that white flag and surrender. But suddenly. I had an idea. A ridiculous one.

I grabbed the (organic!) ketchup. Held him up in the air. Introduced him.

Girls! Presenting Mr. Ketchup!

Amazingly, the tears stopped. Faint and matching smiles appeared.

I went with it. Mr. Ketchup says it is time to be silly! He says it is time to eat some food. Mr. Ketchup then proceeded to gobble from each girl's plate. Hysterical laughter erupted. Mr. Ketchup says the food is so yummy and you should try it! Two little girls plunged into their dinners. Mr. Ketchup makes a very funny sound! Want to hear it? A pair of vigorous nods. Mr. Ketchup emitted a flatulent sound. One that made even Mommy giggle.

Keep eating! crooned Mr. Ketchup. The girls ate.

Mr. Ketchup is getting so tired! He needs a blanket! I proceeded to swaddle Mr. Ketchup in a dish towel. The verdict? Absolutely hilarious!

The girls kept eating as I began to rock Mr. Ketchup to sleep. He woke up every ten seconds with that ludicrous sound. The girls were in stitches. They finished their dinners.

They ate! They were happy! I had survived!

As I unwrapped Mr. Ketchup and put him back with his condiment friends in the side of the fridge, it occured to me. Parents need to be silly. People need to be silly.

Very silly.

Sometimes, when we are helpless and hopeless and drenched in a hurricane of tiny tears, it is silly that will save us.

Thanks much, Mr. Ketchup.

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How often are you silly, very silly? Have you ever been saved by silly? Have you ever anthropomorphized a bottle of (organic!) ketchup?

My First Memory

Dear You