“Agh! I am die!” he flops on the kitchen floor in a fine rendition of faint. “What’s up dear?” “I can be eating dah poison cakes.” “Oh that’s o.k. they’re not for us.” “I am not eating dah fruit cake?” “No. They’re for the school and anyway they’re not fruit cakes.” “You are be poison my school!” “No, no, no. No poison, just little cakes for the bake sale to raise revenue.” “Raise?” “Um…..make money for the school. People pay money for the cakes and the money goes to the school.” “People’s are be paying for poison? Dat is insane!” “They’re not poison,er…..poisoned, just cake.” “Cake wiv poison fruit.” “Oh those are just decorations made out of sugar. They’re not real fruit per se…..not really real fruit.” “Dey are real fruit cakes?” “No. Americans are afraid of fruit cakes…..er…..I mean……American’s don’t like fruit cake and there is no fruit anyway.” “Dey are leaf cakes?” “It’s a leaf decorate not a real leaf.” “Dey are apple cakes?” “Decorations! Anyway, they’re really lemon cakes.” “Lemons is fruits.” I put the icing bag down to take a closer look at Mr. Logic. “The point is……..you don’t have to worry about them because you are not going to have to eat them.” “Dey are not being my new food for dah day?” “No.” “Dey are sugar.” “Yes.” “I am like sugar?” “Er……you like chocolate.” “I am not like sugar?” “Well…..I don’t think you’ve ever eaten sugar…..as such.” “Maybe I am try to be eat dah sugar today as my new food?” “I don’t think sugar counts as a food.” “Maybe I can eat a sugar leaf coz I am a vegetarian?” “Great idea, but no. I need all my leaves.” “No leaf for me?” “No. I don’t have enough.” I look at him. I dither. Should I? Shouldn’t I? I am saved from having to make a decision as he skips off on a project of his own. I stack the boxes on a tray on the table and start the mountain of sticky washing up, behind with the laundry, skipping homework, overdue with supper preparations and generally dilatory on all scheduled routines. My daughter appears as I pop individual cakes and biscuits into individual containers because of germs or some such nonsense designed to drive busy people barmy, “Mom when’s supper?” “Ooo I’m not sure.” “Whatur we havin?” “Take a look and the board and tell me, I have absolutely no idea.” “Ooo…..wotzat?” “What’s what dear?” “It says ‘new food.’” “Does it? That’s not very helpful. I wonder what I was thinking?” I step away from the sink, dry my hands on my jeans and peer through spotty bifocals, “who wrote that anyway I wonder?” “You din write it?” “No. Where is he?” “He’s in Nonna’s room. He’s pretending to be an ant.” “Ah…..that’s alright then.” “Is he supposed to be eatin candy before dinner?” “No he most certainly is not.” I march to Nonna’s room, past the table with the cake boxes, with a glance back. The boxes have moved! I whiz on to intervene before his appetite dwindles too far to accept tonight’s offering, “what are you doing under there Sonny Jim!” “I am being dah ant. I am being my ant in my ant nest.” “What are you eating young man? Halloween candy?” “I am not eat, I am nibble.” “What are you nibbling?” “Leafs. I am being dah leaf cutter ant.”
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