The other morning as I was writing in Starbucks, in walked a mom carrying a baby in a snuggly on her chest. In tow were two girls in matching homemade dresses, probably about four and six. They immediately smooshed their faces against the pastry enclosure, sizing up their choices.
“I want a pink donut!” the older girl said.
“Yeah!” the younger one said, looking first at her sister.
The mom titled her head down and regarded the pair dubiously.
“Is that what you say?” she asked.
The younger one looked at her older sister, who scrunched up her face and closed her eyes, realizing her misstep.
“May I have a pink donut, please?” she said, opening one eye to look at her mom.
“Yeah, please!” the younger one chimed in.
The mom buys the two donuts, which are wrapped in plastic, and the little group heads to the table running down the middle of the store. As the mom is helping the younger girl clamber on to her stool, the older girl says, “I want my donut!”
As her mom unwraps the girl’s donut, she tilts her head down and looks disapprovingly at her older daughter.
“I mean, may I have my donut, please?” the older girl says.
“Good girl,” the mom says, handing the girl her donut, as the younger points to the other as-yet-unwrapped donut and announces, “This one is mine!”
The mom asks the older girl, “Now what?”
The donut mere inches from her lips, the girl pauses, places the donut on the table, clasps her hands and bows her head.
“We thank thee, Lord, for this bounty which we are about to receive,” the girl says.
“That one’s mine” The younger one says.
The mom’s smartphone rings and as she put the phone to ear she mouths to the older daughter, “Good girl.”
The call is clearly from the mom’s mom, and as she continues the discussion, she unwraps the younger girl’s donut, holding the smart phone between her shoulder and her ear. Meanwhile, the older girl is cramming the donut into her donut hole.
“That one’s mine!” the younger girl says.
The mom unwraps the donut and as she talks to her mom, her head cocked against her shoulder, she hands the donut to the younger one and then, at the last second, pulls it back, grabs the phone with her left hand and looks over at the younger girl disapprovingly.
The younger girl, her hands held out to receive her donut, immediately realizes her error and she folds her hands and bows her head in prayer.
“We thanky Lord for the booty we will receef,” she says.
The mom smiles at the younger one as she hands the donut to her and continues the discussion with her mother. “Good girl,” the mom mouths to the younger girl and smiles.
“She didn’t do it right!” the older girl announces, spewing crumbs and pointing accusingly at her sister.
“Say hello to Nana and Papa, girls,” the mom says, holding her smart phone toward them.
“Hello, Nana and Papa!” the younger one says, keeping her eyes on her donut.
“She didn’t do it right,” the older girl repeats. When she sees her mom in engrossed the phone call, she shrugs and shoves the donut into her mouth. “Hello, Nana and Papa!” she says with her mouth full. She puts her free hand to the side of her mouth and whispers to her younger sister, “You didn’t do it right.”
“Okay,” the younger one nods obediently, chomping on her donut.
As the mom finishes her conversation with her mom, the girls make sure to pick every crumb off the table top and place it in their mouths. As the mom says goodbye to her mom she takes a napkin and wipes crumbs off the girls’ faces. As the girls are getting down from their stools, their mom says, “Say goodbye to Nana and Papa, girls” and holds the phone toward them.
“Goodbye, Nana and Papa,” they both say, neither of them looking at the phone. The older one has to come around and help her younger sister make it to the floor.
The younger one hunches her shoulders, cups her hands on either side of her mouth and whispers to her older sister, “I’ll get it right next time!”