At the lunch table.
R — Can I eat all of the nuggets except one?
Dad — You can be done.
R, excitedly — I don’t have to eat them?!
Dad — No.
R — Okay! (Pause) Can I have fruit snacks?
Dad — No. If you want fruit snacks you have to eat what’s on your plate first.
R, upset— I knew it!! You need to tell me what’s real! You make me confused and it drives me cuckoo crazy!
In the kitchen, the boys are talking about their upcoming birthday.
Dad — I can’t believe how old you’re getting!
R — How old are you, Dad?
Dad — How old do you think I am?
R, thoughtfully — Hmm… 17?
Dad — And how old do you think Mom is?
R, immediately — 100!
Mom and B are having a conversation about the difference between having done something and having done it on accident.
Mom — Even if you didn’t mean to do it, you still need to say you’re sorry. Just admit it and apologize.
B — But I don’t even know what “it mit” means!
Mom — What?
B — You keep saying I need to “it mit” something, but I don’t even know what you mean.
Mom — Admit. It means you say that it’s true that you did something. Like when you hit R with the Lego. Maybe you didn’t mean to do it, but you did.
B — And sometimes when R talks I don’t understand what he says, either. I think he uses words I don’t recognize.
Mom — Well, maybe you can ask him to explain, like when you asked me.
B — It confuses me. (Pause) I think the words get mixed up in his head when he’s talking.
The boys helped me make scones. When the dough was made and we were ready to put scoops of it on the baking sheets, I reminded them that scones shouldn’t be perfectly round or flat, like cookies.
R — They’re bumpy! (Pause) I get it! They’re called scones ’cause they look like rocks. Scones instead of stones, right?
In the kitchen, during breakfast, the boys are discussing their need for haircuts.
B – I want to let mine grow out, but not as long as yours, Mom.
R – I want mine to be medium.
Mom – You could let it grow out on the top only. That way it would be longer without looking like mine.
B – What do you mean?
Mom – You know, even all the way around. Like a bowl.
R, loudly and enthusiastically – But then we would look like Auntie Kate!!
At the dinner table, R asks for lemonade.
Mom — Not tonight. I want to save it for you when you take your medicine tomorrow (a laxative that has to be mixed into a liquid).
R — Well, how about just a little bit?
Mom — No.
R — Maybe a little bit of lemonade with lots of water? ‘Cause that makes lots of lemonade.
Mom stares at him, amazed at his efforts to get his way. Everyone is silent for a few seconds.
R — Why won’t you say anything? Are you embarrassed?
R and I are having a conversation about heaven.
R — Is it going to look like our home now?
Mom — Yes, but better! There will be nothing to hurt us or make us sad.
R — So there won’t be poison ivy?