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Back to Then
“When she hangs up the wallpaper, she’ll get all sticky. Feeling sticky will remind her of your favorite maple syrup. She’ll probably ask you for some. And chances are, if she asks you for some syrup, she’ll want a pancake to go with it.” Felicia finished.
“Mom, can you go read to Meg in another room?” asked Annie, Felicia’s fourteen year old daughter.
“Annabelle, you used to love these books!” responded Felicia.
“Yeah I also used to like being called Annabelle. Why can’t you just be like everyone else and call me Annie?”
“Mommy, read another one! Pleaseee mommy!!” begged Meg, Felicia’s three year old daughter.
“Yes, of course. Let’s go get into your bed and I’ll read you one more story,” replied Felicia warmly.
“JUST ONE?!?!!” whined Meg.
“That’s all that’s left Meg darling,” said Felicia.
“You can read me the first one again too!” squealed Meg, “It’s my favorite one!”
“Okay, okay. Whatever you want,” smiled Felicia, “Annabelle, sweetie, come get me when you’re ready for bed.”
“ANNIE!” yelled Annie to her mom’s back.
Minutes later Annie could hear her mom reading to Meg. Annie hadn’t heard If You Give a Mouse a Cookie in ages. She couldn’t help but hear it from the couch inthe living room where she was doing her homework; Meg’s room was only two doors down.
“If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk….” Felicia paused, just like she had for Annie, and waited for Meg to end the sentence.
“HE’LL PROBABLY ASK YOU FOR A STRAW!” finished Meg excitedly.
By this time, Annie was sitting on the edge of the carpet in the living her book and worksheet in her lap.
“When he’s finished, he’ll ask for a napkin. Then he’ll want to look in a mirror…” Felicia waited again.
“TO MAKE SURE HE DOESN’T HAVE A MILK MUSTACHE!” Meg yelled.
“When he looks into the mirror, he might notice his hair needs a trim. So he’ll probably ask for…”
“A pair of nail scissors,” whispered Annie, sitting right outside of Meg’s bedroom door.
Felicia glanced up from the book she was reading from and smiled. She could see Annie’s shadow by the door.
Felicia read on, “When he’s finished giving himself a trim, he’ll want….”
“…A broom to sweep up. He’ll start sweeping. He might get carried away and sweep every room in the house,” recited Annie, remembering when she had been just like Meg, just waiting for the next line to giggle at.
“He may even end up washing the floors as well! When he’s done, he’ll probably want to take a nap…Just like my baby girl is,” noticed Felicia, she kissed Meg and walked out of her bedroom, almost running into Annie.
“Annie, sweetie! What are doing?” asked Felicia.
“I was… well I was listening to the story…”answered Annie, embarrassed, “Do you think you could read the rest of it to me?”
“Of course!” exclaimed Felicia, surprised by her daughter’s request.
Ten minutes later; Felicia finishing the story, “He’ll hang up his drawing and stand back to look at it. Looking at the refrigerator will remind him that… he’s thirsty. So…” Felicia stops waiting for Annie to finish like she always had.
“He’ll ask for a glass of milk. And chances are if he asks for a glass of milk, he’s going to want a cookie to go with it!” finished Annie, proud that she had remembered the ending.
Felicia hugs Annie, sobbing.
“Mom, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, Annabel…Annie, you’ve just grown up so fast,” replied Felicia, with a hint of a smile on her face.
“Mom, I don’t mind if you call me Annabelle, I don’t really mind…”
“I love you, my Annabelle.”
“I love you too, Mommy.”