November 2012: Grocery shopping with Wyatt (6), Duncan (3), and Milo (1).
Whole Foods cashier says, with a sunny smile, “Did you find everything you were lookin’ for?”
“Yes,” I say.
But Wyatt says, “No! There’s a little ninja toy with a sword and a mask– it’s about this big– and Duncan (he’s my little brother, this one) had it, I let him borrow it, VERY NICELY, DUN-CAN, and he dropped it, I think by the guacamole samples, but now it’s gone! And I just got it! At a birthday party!”
“And I not meaned to drop it!” Duncan says, defending his reputation to the cashier.
“Oh, I’m so sorr-,” the cashier says.
“I dink it falled out when I crashed my cart,” Duncan volunteers.
“Crashed? Are you alright?” she asks.
But before Duncan can answer, Wyatt jumps in, “And anyway, do you sell LEGOs here? Because I thought I saw some, but then they weren’t.”
“And I dost Wyatt’s bouncy ball, too!” says Duncan.
“What? Duncan! I’m not going to share birthday party favors with you EVER AGAIN!”
Wyatt scowls at his brother with his hands on his hips. Duncan turns mournfully to the cashier and explains, “And I not get to go to the birthday party. Birthday parties jus’ for big brudders? Dat is not fair. NOT FAIR, WYATT!”
Milo, meanwhile, is pretty much preverbal, but still trying to get a word in edgewise, babbling and gesturing emphatically, tugging on Wyatt’s shirt and shoving Duncan out of his way. “Ah-dah-BA-da-ba-DA! Ga-Meh-Mama-BA,” he contributes a nonstop string of this to the cacophony of the conversation.
The cashier tuns to me and says, “Um… do you need help out to your car?”
“No, thank you,” I say.
“Are you… sure?”