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it's sunday morning. i just had a great night's sleep. marty and i were lazing in bed chatting when the first villager crested the hill. it was alex. he came and threw himself onto the bed in an exasperated way. i asked him what was wrong. he said what was wrong was that i kept telling him i'd fix his remote control car but keep not fixing it. i explained the reason i haven't fixed his car is because he always brings it up as we're walking out the door to school or just as we've finished reading for the night. but then i excitedly add that today he was in luck because he was asking first thing in the morning of a day that there is no school or work and that we'd do it right after breakfast.

ten minutes later i was cooking at the stove when alex took a stool at the breakfast bar. he asked in that same exasperated huff when we were going to fix his remote control car because he's been waiting forever and i said i would and now i'm not. i explained that he'd been waiting exactly ten minutes from when i said i would fix it and that i was in middle of making breakfast for the family and we'd attend to his car after breakfast. after a groan and a pause he asked what we were having for breakfast.

french toast.

ohhh. but i hate french toast.

you hate french toast? i don't think that's true alex.

i do hate it.

are you sure?

yes. and i don't want any. i want macaroni and cheese.

we're not having macaroni and cheese. we're having french toast.

but i don't want french toast.

you don't have to eat it. that's a choice you're free to make. but the family, this family is having french toast this morning.

i'm not! i said i'm having macaroni and cheese.

i am not making macaroni and cheese. i am making french toast.

then i won't eat and i'll get a stummy ache and i'll starve.

i support you in that choice.

now look what you've done. you made me cry.


and with that comment he did just that. he cried. and it was a big dramatic cry. and i sent him to his room until he was done crying. fifteen minutes later he came back down, scowled at me as he passed through the kitchen and went to find marty. some moments later she and he returned and marty asked that if he made the macaroni himself if he could have it for breakfast. (as an aside, marty made a promise to herself many years ago not to fight with her children about food. i support this as long as it does not affect me.) i was finished in the kitchen and said that as long as he didn't require any help from me he was free to make his own macaroni and cheese. and this is just what he did. and when he came to the breakfast table carrying his bowl of overcooked, cheesy noodles and sat down to eat, he surveyed the table and then excitedly jabbed an index finger across the table and exclaimed, "oh i love that!" marty and i immediately looked at one another from across the table. marty handled it.

what do you love alex?

that.

the orange juice?

no, that.

the bacon.

no! that!

the french toast?

yes. the french toast.

but you said you didn't like french toast so we didn't make any for you.

i forgot. i do like french toast. i love french toast.


so after alex ate his macaroni and cheese, he returned to the kitchen and made himself two spottily battered pieces of french toast. i'm reasonably certain if people knew more about this journey before the boat left the shore, far fewer people would book the passage.

MAY2009

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