The Scene: It is lunchtime, and Bub and Pie are seated at the kitchen table – Bub in his booster seat and Pie beside him in "Daddy’s chair" – demanding macaroni and cheese.
Pie and Bub : (in unison) Mac-a-RO-ni! Mac-a-RO-ni!
Hubby: It will be ready in a minute – we have to make it hot. Pie, no pulling on your brother’s sock.
Pie: Pull! Pull!
(The sock comes off Bub’s foot. Pie goes flying off the side of the chair, landing on her head.)
Bub: (alarmed) My sock is off! My sock is off!
Hubby: (scrambling to get a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer while simultaneously comforting the little girl) Bub, your sock is not the main issue right now.
(I come running up the stairs from my basement office, where I am supposed to be marking essays. Pie reaches out her arms towards me and collapses against my chest, her body heaving now and then with quiet, shuddering sobs. I hold her against my tear-soaked sweater, stroking her hot, panicky forehead. Finally, she relaxes, breathing deeply, and I wonder if I should feel guilty for enjoying this moment so much.)
Bub: (exasperated) I’m getting too frustrated! Where’s sock go?
(Pause. He tentatively bites a piece of broccoli.) Mmm. Grocery!