To Breakfast Again

A Formica battlefield strewn with paper napkins, the two combatants eyed one another

“Sweetie you like pancakes remember.”

“I want happy meal!”

Nelly sighed deeply. Bella’s eyes harden. Nelly’s hand trembled slightly as she raised her coffee cup to her lips. Everyone in the Macdonald’s was starting. Office workers grabbing breakfast avoided making eye contact, the oldsters holding court in the middle of the fast food joint glared openly. Nelly’s cheeks grew warm. She just wanted a quiet coffee and a sausage biscuit. Her mother-in-law would say cook at home. Her mother would say this wouldn’t happen people still spanked. Her sister would say all discipline problems stem from processed foods and recommend an organic raw food diet for toddlers.

This is not the time for hand pressed carrot juice, Nelly thought. She considered a different tactic.

Pouring a plastic cube of high fructose syrup over her daughter styrofoam tray she said, “how about syrup for your pancakes. Yummy.”

With a howl, Bella swept her breakfast on the floor. Every thing froze. The mother and daughter stared at one another without blinking. A uniformed teenager ran into the fray with a handful of happy meal toys. Inexplicably Bella threw herself to the floor kicking and screaming.

Nelly thanked the bewildered cashier for the toys. An older employee stood at the ready with a mop and bucket. Shoving her sandwich in her coat pocket Nelly pushed away from the table. Nelly held her head high coffee cup in her left hand screaming child in her right. Exhausted but unbowed, she marched out to the parking lot.

Comments 0