D: Guys, I have a connection!
C: What, Daddy?
The two have been arguing about something inane. Daddy decides to divert and redirect. A kindergarten exercise meant to develop reading comprehension is to encourage kids to find and talk through connections — anything that links two stories together, a story to a song, etc. So, when Daddy reads books to the twins, Daddy always tries to identify one or two connections in that story to something else. The kids don’t “have to” point out connections themselves, but because Daddy does it, they often do it, too (when they aren’t too tired, since book reading occurs most often before bed).
D: Mary Poppins just said that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.
F: What did you say, Daddy?
D: Mary Poppins just said that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, and Cory was joking earlier, pretending to be sick to get some medicine.
D: I bet the reason why you want some medicine is…
C: It tastes good.
D: And, I bet it tastes good because it has some sugar in it!
F: Does it have a spoonful of sugar?
D: Well, I don’t know about a spoonful, but I bet it has some. That’s a kind of connection.
F: Rum punch! Daddy, can you do the eh, er, uh rum like Mary Poppins does?
D (rolling it): R-r-r-r-rum punch!
They laugh. The conversation between them veers off into what they watch on TV, apparently inspired by Daddy’s mention of Mary Poppins. A few minutes later, it devolves into an argument that ends with each claiming to hate the other.
D: Okay, guys, that’s it. We don’t need this kind of arguing right now. We don’t need it. If you want to argue about peace in the Middle East or a raise in the minimum wage, okay, but arguing about whether you should watch My Little Pet Shop or My Little Pony first is just plain silly, especially because you aren’t watching either. At least not today.
C: But, Daddy, he…
F: She just always wants to…
D: Guys! That’s it. I’m all done. (Opening the refrigerator and reaching for Papa’s store of kale shake, then moving to the cabinet for two kids’ cups.) We were going to go out for a quick bike ride around the block after dinner, I know, but now, since you are arguing too much, that bike ride sits on…(pouring the re-shaken kale shake into the two cups)…the other side of this green smoothie.
F: What does that mean, Daddy?
D (placing a cup in front of each): That means dinner is not over until you each drink this green smoothie. That means no bike ride until you each drink your green smoothie.
C: But, Daddy…
F: Aaaaaahhhh! But, Daddy…
D (not knowing what she’s worried about, since she actually likes green smoothie and needs some to get things, um, moving and knowing full well what he’s worried about, since he struggle to choke down most veggies and hates green smoothie): No “but Daddies.” None. Drink.
Cory drinks hers with the rest of her food, pretending like it’s some chore when it isn’t. For Fisher, it’s a huge chore. He asks for a refill of ice water. Then, whenever he takes a small swig of his smoothie, he chases it down with ice water right away. He chafes, resists, pleads, but having drawn the line, Daddy is unwilling to erase it. It isn’t until Cory is excused and in her bike helmet, standing with Daddy over at the front door, ready to go ride, that Fisher drains the last two gulps from the cup in a dramatic final push. His face blanches. He sets the cup down, and he rushes to the door to go riding.
C (over her shoulder as she heads outside): Good job, Fisher.
F (turning back at the last minute): Oh, Daddy, I forgot.
D: Forgot what? Your helmet’s out here.
F: I just don’t like that taste, Daddy.
He runs back to the table and grabs something. He runs to the bathroom. Daddy finds him, with the something — a pirate eye patch — on, brushing his teeth. He apparently REALLY doesn’t like that taste. A few minutes later…
F (riding along a roadside evergreen bush with visible spider webs and leaves woven throughout, Daddy walk-jogging at his side): Oh, Daddy, I have a connection!
D: Oh? What’s that?
F: That bush is really green and so is that green smoothie!
D: That is a connection. You’re right. Good one, Fisher.
F: And it tastes like you put that er, eh, uh bush in the mixer with that smoothie, Daddy.
D (laughing): How do you know what that bush tastes like?
F: Did you put some of that bush in that er, eh uh green smoothie, Daddy?
D: No, do you want me to? That’d get some protein in there.
F: No! There are spiders in that bush. (Making a smiley, imp face.) Maybe that’s why I don’t like uh, er, eh how that smoothie tastes. Maybe that kale just has some spiders in it and it gets mixed in that smoothie.
D (reaching for him): There are no spiders in that smoothie, Fisher! Ima pinch-twist you for that!
F (laughing and speeding up): You can’t get me, Daddy! I can ride a bike now. So, I am faster! And those spiders in that smoothie taste yuck!