Myra-Jean has a new ploy in mind to keep me home from work. Or at least keep me with her. She and I are going into business together.
She came up with this yesterday while we were sitting eating dinner.
“Mama, you need to keep working at that store forever,” she said, out of the blue.
I glanced at her, surprised. “Really? I thought you hated that I was working. Why do you want me to stay?”
MJ shoved a greenbean in her mouth. “Because then when I grow up I can work there with you.”
Ah. I smiled. “That’s a lovely idea, sweetie. Maybe some day we will work together. But it doesn’t have to be there.” (Adding, in my head: “and over my dead body will it be!”)
“Where, then?” she asked.
I shrugged. “Where would you like?”
Myra-Jean thought, chewing slowly. Then her face brightened. “How about a restaurant? Our own!”
Ha! Good one. She’s clearly forgotten my many cooking debacles. But we’re just fantasizing here, right? I shrug and nod. “Sure. We can open a restaurant.”
MJ sits up straight. “Can we do it now?”
I run a finger over her cheek. “Not now. It’s bedtime. But tomorrow we can play restaurant, how about that?”
My daughter’s brow furrows. “I don’t want to play it,” she says flatly. “I want a real restaurant. Now. In our house. So you can work here with me.”
Needless to say, I can’t accommodate her completely. But this morning, bright and early, we played a long round of “restaurant” in our kitchen. As lifelike as I could make it. Menus, order slips, steamed vegetables, the whole nine. It didn’t stop me having to leave for work at 8:30, but it did seem to soften the blow some.
And my young customer was very complementary about the service. Even when I spilled water on her nightgown.