Just moments after Ethan walked through the door this afternoon, he and Allyson started bickering. "It's going to be one of those days," I thought with a groan. Ethan gathered up his homework and moved from the kitchen table to his room.
Allyson traipsed up the stairs after him. "Get out of my room!" he snapped.
"Don't be rude, Ethan," I admonished as he settled down at his desk.
I started to follow Allyson out the door, but Ethan told me he needed my help with his algebra.
"What is it?" I asked, craning to catch a glimpse of his worksheet.
"I just need you to scratch my back," he said. I agreed, but I told him we'd have to leave the door open so I could keep an eye on Allyson.
Approximately two minutes later, Allyson walked in with a tray of colorful cloth cupcakes. "Would you like a cupcake, Mommy?" she asked sweetly. I thanked her and daintily nibbled at my pink-frosted cupcake, careful not to let it actually touch my lips.
She held out a white-frosted cupcake to Ethan. "Do you want one, too?" With my eyes, I silently urged him to accept this peace offering.
He narrowed his brows suspiciously. "What kind is it?" he demanded.
"Peanut butter chocolate banana!" she replied proudly.
Ethan snatched the cupcake out of her hand and stuffed the entire thing in his mouth. He proceeded to chew it theatrically.
Allyson's eyes were huge with alarm. "Ethan!" she shrieked. "It's a pretend cupcake. You can't eat it!"
Ethan didn't answer, just grabbed a second cupcake and crammed it into his mouth in front of the first one. His mouth completely stuffed, he still managed to grin broadly.
"You're going to gag yourself," I warned. Meanwhile, Allyson started chewing the remaining cupcake with gusto.
True to my prediction, Ethan spewed the two cupcakes out of his mouth. "Plehhh!"
"They're wet!" Allyson exclaimed, but she didn't seem bothered at all. In fact, she was grinning from ear to ear. "I'll go make some eggs!" she said, scurrying back to her room.
Ethan had just started the next problem when she returned with her tiny metal mixing bowl and wooden spoon. "It's scrambled eggs," she explained.
"Yum!" I said, trying to convey the right level of appetite without actually touching the spoon to my mouth.
When I'd finished, she handed the bowl to Ethan. "Do you want some eggs?"
Ethan eyed the bowl angrily. "There's nothing in here!" he growled. "Mama, why'd you eat all the eggs?"
Allyson giggled. "I'll make you some more," she assured him hastily.
She returned a minute later with the same bowl and spoon. "Do you want some, Mommy? Just eat a little, and then Ethan can have the rest."
"NO! I want my own bowl," Ethan argued. "I'm really hungry." He then wolfed down the imaginary eggs noisily while Allyson looked on with pleasure.
"Make me a slurpie," Ethan said when he'd finished devouring the eggs.
"What kind?" Allyson wondered.
"Put in extra artificial colors and flavorings," I called after her. "That's how Ethan likes it."
Ethan gave me a dirty look, but he was laughing. We'd just had a discussion in the kitchen about why I try to limit their consumption of artificial colors and flavors.
Allyson returned with a blue Cinderella tea cup. "Here's your artificial sweetness," she said.
So that Ethan could get a little homework done, I finally had to tell Allyson that he was getting a bit full from all the cake, eggs, and slurpies. We were all in high spirits after that, but I'm sure I was the happiest of the three. I just love to see them having fun together despite their nine-year age difference.