We took the twin four-year-olds to a Milwaukee Frozen Custard place the other day. They were happily slurping up their frozen treat, and Mama and Grandma were watching, and Auntie Donna was snapping photos (because I AM the paparazzi of their world) when one of the twins noticed another, older boy nearby who had gummy worms on his ice cream.
You could almost see my nephew's ears perk up, and he immediately shifted into a mode that most parents and aunts of toddlers learn to recognize immediately: the dawning suspicion that someone has something he doesn't.
"Can I have some worms for my ice cream?" he asked. Several times. In fact, enough times that Auntie Donna, eager to keep the outing with Grandma on a positive note, went up to the counter.
"Excuse me," I said, pulling out my wallet. "When my nephews got their ice cream, they didn't realize that gummy bears were available as a topping. May I buy a topping of gummy worms to split between the two of them?"
Unsurprised--after all, the toddler calling for worms was the one with the voice that carries to Pittsburgh when he really gets going--the young woman behind the counter smiled, and gave me a small bowl of gummy worms on the house. I split them between the two nephews--solving the problem that there was an odd number by eating it myself. And we finished our dessert in peace and quiet.
Until we began to leave the store.
"Can I have some more worms?" my nephew asked.
"You've finished your ice cream," my sister-in-law said. "You can have gummy worms next time."
"But I want to eat more worms NOW," the nephew wailed.
And that is how I came to be walking down the sidewalk, dragging a toddler who was wailing, in his impressively loud, future opera superstar voice,
"I want to eat more worms! I want to eat more worms! More worms! More worms!"