C (biting into a slice of apple the morning after a late night return from Kansas City): Daddy, I think this tooth might come out today.
D: Think so?
C: Uh huh.
Daddy thinks so, too, but that if it does, it will be the only good thing that comes out of her mouth all day. Lack of sleep usually does not make either twin more likely to use nice words, but especially not her. Daddy has braced for a constant stream of sassafras (and one wiggly tooth) coming out of that mouth.
Not so, not so. Oh, she’s definitely exhausted. Every time, but one, that Daddy puts her in her booster, she falls asleep within minutes, head lolling to one side or the other, Fisher jibber-jabbering next to her. (The one time that she stayed awake was intentional and by brute force, Daddy hoping that if she stayed awake this one last time, she might nap for reals at home. The brute force is delivered via car dance party. The windows are down. The sun is shining. The volume is up, all three showing some serious moves to nearby drivers, first sassy moves to “Lips Are Movin’”, then head-banging ones to Green Day’s “Holiday.” Daddy’s head banging at the stop light cracks them thoroughly up, both nearby drivers as well as the twins.)
The evening adventure is making good on last year’s promise not to forget presents for each other this year. (Daddy reminds them.) The babysitter watches Cory, while space cadet Fisher stumbles through the aisles, eventually settling on something Doc McStuffins related “because Cory will that, Daddy. She doesn’t have any Doc McStuffins stuff.” Yes, she does, but why quibble.
Daddy takes him back home for the switch and heads back out with Cory.
C (holding Daddy’s hand through the parking lot toward the store): Sometimes Fisher and I only fight a lot because we are just mad or tired or have sassafras, but he’s my brother. He’s my sweet brother. Daddy, I am having hard times thinking of what to get my Fisher for a present because my brain keeps thinking of what Fisher got for me. I wonder what he got for me… (No response from Daddy.) That’s what I keep thinking of, but I am going to try to think about what will make Fisher Bug say, “Oh! Thanks, Cory!” He’s going to smile, I think, when he opens that present. We buckle sometimes…
D (getting a word in): …bickER…
C: …yah, we bicker sometimes, but that’s just because we are tired or he pinches me or I have sassafras or something, but we just love each other. He likes to say that he’s older than me, but he’s not really older than me. Nine minutes isn’t like a day or a year or a month or something. It’s just nine minutes. So…and, I just love my Fisher Bug so much. He’s a sweetie brother. You know, he always helps me buckle my seat belt because that’s hard for me. But, it’s not as hard for him because he has stronger fingers. I have longer legs than Fisher does, and I can run faster than Fisher. But, he can do a buckle better, right, Daddy? (No response from Daddy.) I wonder what I should get for my Fisher Bug…
She delivers nonstop commentary through the store to the toy aisles, and, whether explained by extreme (rather than run-of-the-mill) exhaustion or by the holiday spirit, not a word of it is sassafras.
The wiggly tooth withstands all the sweet chatter, unwilling to leave Cory’s mouth just yet.