By: Angela B
Disclaimer: Not mine and never will be
Note: #1 Did this with a class of kindergarten kids as a lesson on following directions...they had a blast
Thanks to NT for the beta
(Moved to Blackraptor January 2010)
The two men and their boys were sitting around table eating supper. Chris looked over to his son and asked, “So, Vin, what did you do today?”
“Nothing,” Vin answered as usual. Buck smirked at the kid’s reply. Sometimes getting the two boys to acknowledge that they did anything in school took some doing.
Chris just shook his head and turned his attention to the little boy on the other side of the table. “So, Ezra, what about you? What did you today?” he asked as he stuck a forkful of food in his mouth.
Ezra paused for a second, thinking, before his eyes lit up and he claimed, “We got to eat dirt and worms in class.”
Dead silence reigned as Chris struggled not to choke on his food and Buck’s fork froze in midair. Chris finally swallowed and struggled to keep his voice even. “Dirt and worms?” he asked in a mixture of shock and amusement at the picture of this particular child eating dirt and worms created.
“And mud. I forgot the mud,” Ezra said, his voice going up a little in his excitement.
Buck finally got over his shock and sputtered, “What?” turning to look at his son in confusion. He couldn’t picture his meticulous son doing anything like eating dirt, much less be happy about it.
Ezra panicked at the sight of his guardian’s stunned face. “I didn’t get dirty. I was careful,” he said pitifully. The joy he had felt moments earlier gone and fear took its place.
Buck hated that guarded look. It always made him think Ezra expected him to turn into some kind of monster and beat him for being a typical little boy.
Vin, who had watched the adult’s reaction with amusement, now saw things going downhill. Jumping in to rescue the situation before Ezra had a complete melt down, Vin started laughing. The other three looked at him strangely, as Vin looked at Ezra. “They think you really ate dirt and worms,” he said, still laughing.
Ezra’s face distorted into a look of disgust as he turned to stare at Chris and Buck. “Yuck,” he said succinctly. “That would be most…” stuck for a word to adequately express his repulsion at the idea, he spat out, “gross,” using one his cousin’s phrases.
Chris and Buck were still clearly confused, but laughed out loud at the comical expression on Ezra’s face.
At that moment Vin had one of those light bulb ideas that parents go along with and hope they don’t regret it later. “Hey, Ezra, we could make it for Dad and Uncle Buck for dessert. Right, dad?” he asked, turning beseeching eyes toward his dad.
Chris flicked his gaze towards Buck for input. Buck shrugged and Chris lips twitched in a mock thanks before turning back to Vin. “Is this going to be one of those things I’m going to be sorry about later?” he asked hesitantly.
“No,” Vin said honestly.
“Okay,” Chris relented slowly.
“Come on, Ezra. Eat up,” Vin coaxed. Chris and Buck exchanged looks and wondered what they had gotten themselves into.
After supper, Buck helped Chris clear the table. Once in the kitchen, he whispered, “You know what this is?”
Chris shook his head. “Have no clue, but it can’t be too bad if Ezra liked it,” he said reasonable.
At the dining table, Vin asked his cousin, “You got your directions still?”
Ezra nodded and ran to get them. Coming back in a short time, Ezra held out the two pages that held picture instructions. That had been part of the lesson in class. After making the edible goody; the kids had cut out the seven pictures, with he instructions written above them, showing the steps and put them in order. The two boys walked into the kitchen where the men were putting away the last of the leftovers.
“Okay, you guys sit down and we’ll do all the work,” Vin directed. The two men obediently sat down at the small kitchen table and watched.
“Okay, first we need Graham Cracker sticks,” Vin said, looking at the first picture. “But since we don’t have the stick kind, we’ll just use the plain Graham crackers.” Vin got out the crackers while Ezra got out a sandwich ziplock bag.
Ezra held the bag open while Vin put in an arbitrary number of crackers. Chris glanced at Buck and arched an eyebrow. Buck just smiled back and enjoyed Chris’ worry. Ezra zipped the bag closed, then began using his fingers to crumble the crackers. After a couple of smashes, he handed the bag to Vin, to have his turn. While he smashed the crumbs, he explained, “Mrs. Roye came in and did this with out class, yesterday.”
“Mrs. Roye?” Buck asked questioningly.
“She teaches speech to some kids, but sometimes she comes into the classroom and does special things,” Vin explained.
“You didn’t mention this yesterday,” Chris stated.
“I forgot,” Vin said with a shrug.
Chris nodded silently. Vin examined the crushed crackers and then looked around. Looking to his dad slightly embarrassed, he said, “We need those paper things that we make cupcakes in.”
Chris stood up as Buck let out a little laugh. Chris went to the cupboard and took out the box of cupcake liners, then looked at Vin. “How many?” he asked.
“Well, there are four of us, so I need four,” Vin said.
Chris nodded and handed his son four containers. Vin turned and gave them to Ezra. “You pass them out.” He wanted Ezra to have an equal part in this. Ezra obediently gave each person one paper holder. Placing his and Vin’s in the spots where they would be sitting.
Chris sat back down and Buck leaned over and whispered, “So much for sitting back and watching. What do you want to bet we’ll be doing more before it’s over?”
“No bet,” Chris whispered back.
Vin looked at the instructions and Ezra quietly pointed out the next stop. Vin poured a little of the crackers into the bottom of each cup, leaving about half the contents in the bag.
Ezra loosened up and began getting into the process. “We need worms,” he said pointing to the third step.
This time it was Buck who shot Chris a worried look. Chris, taking his turn at Buck’s expense, smiled back evilly.
Vin looked where they kept the snacks. Twitching his lips, he looked at Ezra. “We don’t have any gummy worms. We’ll have to use bears instead.”
Ezra looked disconcerted. They had promised worms not bears. Seeing Vin waiting for him to consent, he finally rationalized this was the only solution. “Okay,” he said slowly, sadness filling his voice.
Looking at Buck, Ezra said, “It’ll have to be Dirt and Bears because we don’t have any worms,” oblivious to the fact that Chris and Buck had heard the entire conversation. Buck, seeing the concern in the young green eyes, shrugged. “That sounds just as good to me. I’ll just eat whatever you make me,” he said. One of the things he and the counselor had decided was that Ezra needed a lot of modeling of how to accept imperfection, mistakes and changes.
Ezra, relieved that Mr. Buck wasn’t upset by the changes, took two bears from Vin and placed one in each of his and Buck’s cups, while Vin did the same with the other two dessert cups.
Next, Vin got down a box of chocolate pudding. Ezra got out another sandwich bag and Vin poured out the pudding powder into the bag. At that point they realized they had hit another snag. Vin got out the milk and set it on the counter, it was then that he realized he didn’t know how much milk had been used. Ezra, seeing Vin stop and look puzzled, began being concerned himself.
Chris and Buck could read the situation. “What’s wrong?” Chris asked complacently.
“I forgot how much milk Mrs. Roye used,” Vin said, trying hard to remember.
Ezra, not wanting Vin to feel alone, said, “She poured the milk into a blue cup and then poured it into a big cup for us.”
“Hmm,” Buck said, coming to stand beside Ezra. “Let’s read your instructions and see if it says,” Buck said, taking the paper instructions and then adjusted it, bringing it closer to his face. “Boy, this print is kinda small. Can one of you read this for me?” Buck asked with a smile.
Vin and Ezra read the instructions together. Simultaneously, they said,” “We need a cup.”
Taking out the correct measuring cup, Buck poured the milk and set it on the counter and then returned the milk back to the fridge. Vin picked the cup up carefully and poured it into the bag that Ezra was holding open. Zipping it closed, the five-year-old began mushing the milk and powder together. Enjoying the squishy feeling, Ezra unconsciously let out the joy that he found in the process. Again, Ezra turned the bag over to Vin, so the older boy could have his turn.
Buck and Chris smiled at the small giggle that escaped from Ezra as he kneaded the bag. They enjoyed watching the two boys interact. Both of the boys were taking their enterprise so seriously, but at the same time were having fun.
When Vin was satisfied that the mixture was just right, he let Ezra examine it for his approval. When Ezra nodded in consent, Vin set the bag on the table. Ezra handed him one spoon, kept one for himself and passed the other two to Chris and Buck. Vin scooped out three spoonfuls of pudding into his dad’s and his cups. Ezra waited patiently for his turn. When Vin slid the bag over to him, the five-year-old cautiously spooned out the pudding into his and Buck’s paper cup. Each inch of movement was slow and guarded.
Buck watched with trepidation as the thin paper liner began tilting to one side with all the pudding being put in it, and began worrying he was going to wind up with it in his lap. He resisted the urge to help his son move faster or encourage him to speed up. Ezra was actually involving him in something and Buck was intensely happy at the monumental gesture.
Vin then poured more of the crackers on top of the pudding, trying his best to gauge it and divide it equally and leave half for Buck and Ezra. Once Ezra had used the last of the crumbs on his and Buck’s desserts, the two boys sat down at the table and watched in anticipation as their dads took their first bite.
Buck and Chris gave each other a glance before taking their bites and were surprised at how good it was. Seeing the positive results Vin and Ezra dug into their own desserts. Buck decided he’d find more recipes that he and Ezra could make together.
SUGGESTIONS: If trying this: use the sturdier cupcake wraps…if using the thin paper liners double them up. Oreo cookies also work very well as the dirt part.
Next: Building on Hope