Don't Touch My Apples

IMG_2304Today was the first day of Thanksgiving break at the Casa de Up Popped A Fox. Our kids are out of school for the entire week which means that we get to spend a lot of time together while trying to prepare the house for guests and plan the menu for Thanksgiving dinner. Did I mention that we are still painting the kitchen? We are because everyone knows that right before you host a big holiday dinner is the best time to paint your kitchen! And Luisa is still working and I am still trying to finish NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo (though I officially hit the goal of 50,000 words yesterday). So, there is a lot going on and when there is a lot going on, I need the children to behave like rational beings which appears to be an unreasonable expectation.

This morning, the very first morning of vacation, they got into an argument in the kitchen while preparing breakfast. I'm going to lay out a few facts to set the scene for you:

1. It was 10:30 a.m.

2. Zeca had already eaten breakfast an hour earlier and had made the meal herself.

3. Miguel wanted me to make breakfast for him and I refused.

4. Miguel has a slight germ phobia.

5. Zeca is fond of pushing buttons.

Zeca sat on a stool in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee and watching Miguel wander around the kitchen with bleary eyes and thought bubbles above his head that said things like "How does food happen?" and "There is no food in my mouth but I want there to be and why will no one take pity on me and make the food and put it in there?" Zeca looked on in mild amusement as she is the more practical of our two children and likes to watch her brother fail to meet his basic needs.

Miguel then asked, "Do we have apples?" and I suggested that he look in the fruit bowl where the apples have been kept for the entirety of his 13 years. He looked in the fruit bowl and exclaimed, "There are apples!" as if he'd found his fortune in the Great Apple Rush of 2014. He took one out of the bowl and washed it and then stood there with the apple dripping water on the floor and said, "How do I dry it?" I suggested that he use a towel or, if desperate, his shirt. "MOM!" he yelled in horror. He managed to dry the apple on a towel and then asked me to cut it. I suggested he use the apple slicer that he has used almost every day for the past week.

After he cut the apple, he fanned it out decoratively on a plate and went to the refrigerator to get the peanut butter. He spooned peanut butter onto the plate and when he turned to put it back in the refrigerator, Zeca plucked an apple slice from his plate and brought it to her mouth. She did not bite down on it or even touch it to her lips, it simply entered the air space of her mouth where it hovered until she was certain that he saw it and then she put it back on his plate with a laugh and said, "Sorry."

Miguel then began to scream because Zeca had:

1. Dared to take an apple slice, the literal fruit of his labor.

2. Had breathed on it and then put it back on his plate.

There was much yelling by one child and laughter by the other and I chose to leave the room before I felt compelled to lock them both in the basement. But then, from my safe perch on the living room couch, I heard Zeca scream and I ran into the kitchen to find the eldest child rubbing an apple slice all over the youngest child's face which is apparently how teenagers teach younger children not to touch their apple slices. I then yelled, "YOU DO NOT RUB APPLES ON YOUR SISTER'S FACE JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE ANGRY!"

So, that's how the very first day of our vacation began. How was your Monday?

*Full Disclosure: The picture accompanying this story was taken a few weeks ago during an argument about egg salad. Zeca wanted to teach Miguel to make egg salad but he did not want to learn to make egg salad. Zeca suggested that someday he might want or need to make egg salad for a loved ones and he felt they could go to the store and buy egg salad for themselves.