We were barreling down the highway with our windows up and the music cranked, both bobbing our heads in unison to Lady Gaga's Telephone. Mind you my head bob was adjusted for safety reasons as driving dictated that I be a bit more focused on the road than my heart on the dance-floor.
We love the cranked tunes, my girl and I. We are cut from the same cloth. In the car we both know the best way to drive is with the stereo cranked to eleven. She smiles, I smile, and we let the music take over our brains. Sometimes when we arrive at our destination we sit in the car until the end of the song because you know, we have to close the show properly.
So needless to say interruptions in our musical reveries are few and far between but on this particular evening, after a hard day of play-dating, something made my daughter yell out from the back seat mid-tune.
'I SEE IT!'
I was confused as I snapped out of my harmonizing with Beyonce moment. We weren't discussing much less looking for anything. What is she screaming about from the backseat?
'I SEE IT! I SEE IT MOMMY! RIGHT THERE!'
I glanced in the rearview to see what she was pointing towards. Her body leaned towards the right of the car as much as her car seat allowed and her eyes were wide. My eyes set towards her pointing finger and all I saw the usual landscape of strip malls, restaurants, and megaplexes. What on earth was she so excited about?
'I SEE IIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT! Do you see it mommy?' she asked in a more muted but concerned tone now that I had turned down the music to figure out what the fuss was all about.
'Uh... no? What exactly am I looking for?' was my response.
She made that exasperated, exaggerated sigh that she reserves for mommy-stupidity moments and slapped her sweet chubby judgmental hand to her face to emphasize her disgust with me.
'Chuck E Jesus Mom! He's right there!'
And she was correct. There in the wasteland of strip malls and chain restaurants, the rat had risen and he was beckoning to all the small children to sit at his paws and learn how to become disciples of the big old corporate overlords.
Glory be, my daughter recognizes Chuck E. Jesus *cough* I mean, Cheese without any guidance from us. We're doomed. My turn to sigh and slap the forehead.