The other morning, when I called Kimball to come out to breakfast, I heard sobbing from his bedroom. I went in to investigate. Kimball was on top of the bed, crying as if all was lost (this is not terribly unusual--he only knows one way to cry, and that's as if all is lost.)
Me: Kimball, what's the matter?
Kimball: I can't come to breakfast. (sob) I can't get down from the bunk bed.
Me: Why can't you get down?
Kimball: Because I have a shell instead of legs (wail.)
Me: What? (Then, noticing that his legs are in a pillowcase,) What's going on?
Kimball: Henry destroyed the Transmogrofier and now I'm stuck forever with a shell instead of legs!
(He points to a large piece of cardboard on the bedroom floor, that has intricate drawings all over it that are obviously machine parts and a faint "X" drawn through them. Clearly, this is the destroyed Transmogrifier.)
Me: I don't think that this Transmogrifier is destroyed. Perhaps Henry was trying to ruin it, but it looks like he failed to me. Let's transmogrify you back into a kid with legs. And let's do it quickly. I'm clearing away breakfast in 15 minutes.
Kimball: (Sniffle, sob) Mom, it's destroyed. And now I'm doomed!
Me: (Deep breath) Son, let me see if I can get the shell off your legs. (I peel the pillowcase from his reluctant body.) Ok, it looks like I transmogrified you. Now come to breakfast.
Kimball: Now my hideous spider legs are exposed! I can't get down.
Me: Well, please figure out how to get yourself out to breakfast if you want to eat. (Yes, I'm kind of a killjoy. Except for the fact that there didn't seem to be any joy involved in this game, anyway.)
A few minutes later, Kimball arrives in the kitchen in an army crawl. He warns us:
Kimball: No one look at my hideous spider legs. And no one touch them--they are covered in deadly poison! (sniffle)
Obviously, this kid reads too much Calvin and Hobbes!