Aunts and Cookies

While visiting at my parents’ house, the children were indulging themselves with chocolate chip cookies, freshly baked by one of my younger sisters. It was a hot evening, and the ceiling fans were lending what comfort that they could; yet everyone’s spirits were high. We adults were vigorously engaged with conversation and debate. The children were just as vigorously engaged with consumption and scampering.

They were caught in a kind of “Twilight Zone” loop. As fast as they could run, they would start at the dish covered with fresh cookies (they were only allowed one cookie at a time.) And like lightning, they would dart into a zigzag, duck and jump, make-it-up-as-you-go through the kitchen, living room, dining room, game room, front yard and be back to the dish of cookies just as they were chewing the last morsel of their allotted chocolate chip treat.

To be short, the house looked like an ant hill after it had been kicked over. The baby was passed from person to person depending on who he was content with for the next five minutes. And all the time, around the adult conversation, the children ducked under legs, ran around chairs, and made a complete nuisance of themselves. Everyone was having a pleasant time. That is everyone until #5 was offended by his twenty-four year old aunt.

The foolish boy was dancing some obnoxious jig by said aunt’s chair. He was prancing in circles, knees nearly touching his chin, a full diaper swaying between his legs. Squealing incoherent jubilation surely brought on by the great intake of Heavenly blessed, hot and fluffy, homemade chocolate chip cookies (MY GOODNESS my mouth is watering just thinking about them.) And during this improvised rain-dance he held aloft, high above his head his savory cookie.

Unfortunately for him, his over extended arm ended about eye level with his aunt. Observing the cookie in his dancing hand, she did not need to look twice. With the speed of a striking rattlesnake, she opened her jaws wide and ate over half of the two-year old’s cookie. It is my belief that had his thumb not been there, she would have eaten the whole thing.

Distracted as #5 may have been, he immediately noticed the loss of weight in his hand, and also who was to blame; and he did blame. As he railed and screamed at his aunt, she put on such a joyful show of cackles that it would have put to shame any evil witch. But the boy carried on so that Wife stepped in to stop him. After all, she was right about the need of #5 to show proper respect to his elders. To be perfectly honest I kinda took the boy’s side; but like any good parent who wanted to show a united front with discipline, I stayed in my seat and let Wife take care of it.

#5 has not had an outburst at any of his aunts since then. On the other hand, neither have any of his aunts eaten the cookie right out of his hand. We will see what happens then.