You Can’t Eat That
By Kathy MieleI walked into the house, my arms filled with grocery bags. “Can you guys go out to the car and bring the rest of the groceries in?” I asked as I walked passed Steven and my two boys watching television.“We sure can,” Steven said as he jumped up and grabbed his coat. “I’m starving!”As all my boys brought bags and bags into the kitchen and I began to unload everything into cabinets and the refrigerator.“Did you get anything good to eat?” Max asked as he began poking around in the bags still left on the counter. He pulled out a box of crackers.“Don’t eat those,” I said, taking the box out of his hands. “It’s for company.”I turned around in time to see Alex with a brick of cheese, ready to open it. “Not that either,” I cried as I took it out of his hands. “You know the rules when I’ve shopped for company,” I said. I looked at all three of them as they stared at me blankly. “Oh come on…” I groaned. “The rule is, don’t eat anything unless you ask first!.” I reminded them.“Oh, that rule,” Steven said as he put down the jar of olives he was about to open. “I’ve never liked that rule.”“Me either,” Max said as he watched me put away a box of cookies.“We’re starving,” Alex groaned.“I’m starting dinner as soon as I put everything away,” I said.“How long will it be until dinner?” Max asked.“I’m going to say less than an hour,” I said.All three of them groaned. “We’re hungry now,” Alex said. “I don’t know if I can make an hour.”Max began going through the cabinets while Alex grabbed a loaf of bread and the jar of peanut butter.“Don’t eat a sandwich,” I cried. “You’ll ruin your appetite for dinner.”“You’ve got all this food here and they aren’t allowed to eat any of it,” Steven reasoned. “Maybe you should find something for them to snack on before they head to Taco Bell as soon as you turn your back.”“Taco Bell!” Max called as he looked at Alex and smiled.“I have to bribe you to eat dinner at home?” I reached in one of the bags and handed each of them a clementine. “That should hold you for an hour.”Alex reached in the bag and took another one. “Maybe two will hold me.” He smiled as he headed back to watch television.I shook my head “You guys are ridiculous,” I complained to Steven.“Hey, you’re the one who fills the house with good things to eat and then makes a rule that we can’t eat it,” Steven said as he tossed a second clementine to Max and grabbed another for himself.“I didn’t say you can’t eat it,” I argued. ”You just can’t snack on it before company comes!”“We still think it’s a bad rule,” Steven said.“It’s a bad rule,” Max and Alex called in unison.