A Quiet Breakfast
By Marisol

I wake up to the sun in my face and stretch luxuriously. "A normal day!" I say to the animal at the end of my bed, who happens to be Rascal, my cat. I get up and throw on jeans, a pink T-shirt, and bunny slippers. Then, still not quite awake, I make my way downstairs.

I enter the kitchen.

"Hi! Good morning, Marisol! Today's a good morning, and I like good mornings, because they're good and not bad, and I wouldn't like them if they were bad, because I don't like it when things are bad like the bad guys on TV, and guess what? The bad guys on TV are bad because they're not good!"

"Bad guys are bad," chimes in another high-pitched voice, "and I don't like 'em but I like good guys 'cause they're good!"

"I don't like bad guys either," pipes the third, early-rising five-year-old. "But I like marshmallows!"

"Yeah! Marshmallows! Marshmallows! Marshmallows!" the three chant.

I calmly pick up a bowl from the counter and step over the pieces of broken glass Lily is sweeping up. "Good morning, Margaret! No, I don't like bad guys either, Britney. I agree, Annie, marshmallows are very good in hot chocolate." I seat myself next to Becky, who is reading the newspaper website on her laptop. I pour a bowl of Cheerios for Amber, and another for myself.

"Marshmallows!" the five-year olds cheer. I see them skipping towards the door with a bag of marshmallows and the matches.

Lynda intercepts them at the door. "What are you doing!"

"We're going to make a fire and roast marshmallows!" Annie pipes.

"No, you're not. You're going to have a healthy breakfast."

"Oh, okay." The three find seats at the table and start into their bowls of honey-toasted oats. Lynda smiles, but does not stop watching.

"I'm done!" exclaims Becky, tucking her laptop under her arm and carrying her bowl to the dishwasher.

"In record time! Marisol's only just started," Lynda notes.

"Uh, yeah, well, I'm going to go do my writing now." Becky edges her way to the stairs.

"On the doll forum?" Lynda asks suspiciously.

"Doll forum! Dolls forum! Sing dolly-dolly-noodle all the day!" sing Annie, Britney, and Margaret.

"Yeah," Becky mumbles.

"No. Go write your report about 'California and the Land of Cows'."

Becky's eyes shine. "On the computer!" She races off.

Lynda locks her eyes on Kailey, who is fluffing her hair. "You!"

Kailey glances up.

"Have you practiced your French Horn recently?"

Kailey tossed her silky, sun-streaked blonde hair. "I'm a child prodigy, Lynda. Prodigies don't need practice. They're perfect."

Lynda stares.

"Okay, okay." Kailey leaves the room. A moment later, one long, loud, low note blares through the house. The sound of someone taking a really deep breath, and a slightly higher pitched version of the note before. Again. And again.

Lynda grins at me and motions at Lizzy, who is scribbling at a notepad. Her breakfast of scrambled eggs is sitting cold and forgotten beside her.

I push away my empty bowl and tap her on the shoulder. "Time for dance lessons, Lizzy."

"Not now," she mutters.

I hear a small noise behind me and turn to see Rena, the late riser, snickering. She puts a paper bag over her head, stands behind Lizzy and whispers in a spooky voice, "Fly, Matoran Yzzil, all is discovered!"

Elisabeth looks at her, startled. "Matoran Yzzil?" she asks in a confused voice.

The paper figure nods solemnly. "You are called. All is discovered. Come with me, Yzzil, or your fate shall be one unworthy of such a noble, worthy Matoran as--hey!"

Lizzy whips the bag from Rena's head. "Ah HA!"

"I didn't do it! It was Matoran Gab Repap!"

Lizzy doesn't take the time to figure out what Gab Repap is backwards. She starts tickling Rena. "Admit it, admit it! Or go through extremely painful torture!"

Rena laughs wildly and tosses her head around, swinging her ringlet side to side. "No, no, no!"

On the other side of Elisabeth, Amber gurgles and grabs the pencil, which is rolling off the table. She spots the notepad and pulls it to her. "Ga gaa goo gagoogagabby!" she crows, busily drawing birds' nests and swirly things all over the paper.

Lizzy hands Rena over to the mercy of Laura and Marissa Lynn and reaches for her notepad, which isn't there. She looks at me, puzzled. "Did you take my story?"

I point to Amber, who is ripping out each page and shoving them into her milk. "Oop-oop-goo-goo!"

"My masterpiece!" Lizzy wails. She fishes the mushy mess out of Amber's cereal bowl and tries frantically to lay them flat and press the milk out. "My wonderful masterpiece!"

"Try pressing them between towels," says Alicia as she pours herself a bowl of raisin bran.

"Waaaaahhhhh!" cries Lizzy.

I decide this is a good time to take Amber elsewhere.

Britney and Annie start singing to Margaret at the tops of their lungs, "Happy not Christmas to youuuuu!"

And that is a normal, rather quiet, breakfast at our house.


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