Lydia inserted her finger into her taco and wiggled it around like a tiny meal worm.
“Stop that,” I told her, and glanced around the Taco Bell to make sure no one else was watching my daughter disect her dinner.
“What is this, Daddy?” She asked. She scrunched her nose and rolled the bits of food between her fingers, holding them up to the light.
“That’s the meat, dear. Please, just eat it.”
She raised her eyebrows. “I don’t think it’s meat.” She squinted and leaned in close to the goop covering her hands. “Maybe it’s beans?”
“No, the beans are the grey part.” I pointed. “The reddish stuff is the meat.”
She shook her head slowly and wiped a web of yellow hair from her face with her clean hand. Her fingers squeezed and rolled the contents a few more times.
“Okay, okay. It’s not actually meat. But it’s… I don’t know… food. And I paid for it, and you asked for it, and it’s your dinner…”
While I said this she was wiping her hand on a dull brown napkin. Then she smiled up at me and then down at the taco carcass. “I like tacos,” she said, nodding. “Thank you bringing me with you to eat tacos.”
“You are very welcome, sweetheart.” I passed her a cup of water. “You don’t have to finish it if you don’t want.”
She smiled again and turned to look out the window.