When L.I.W. finally wakes up, she’s in a foul mood.
First, she demands biscuits, and then, inexplicably, raisin pie. We don’t have those things, I tell her, rather sharply. We have cereal. Want some of that?
She stares at me, and for a block of time neither one of us blinks. Then, suddenly, L.I.W. bursts into tears.
Oh wow, I think. Talk about ungrateful.
But I realize I’m not being the best hostess, so I do what I imagine they do in a bed and breakfast. I get a wooden cutting board from the kitchen, and put a bowl of Cheerios on it, and a spoon. After a minute of pushing things around in the cupboard over the sink, I find the china creamer we use at Thanksgiving and I fill it with milk and set it next to the cereal. I remember that mom just went to the store, so I look in the fruit drawer in the fridge and sure enough – blueberries.
The board is heavy, so I take my time walking down the hall. When I get to my room, L.I.W. is buried under the Hollie Hobbie quilt. I can see the end of one of her braids poking out, so I give it a tug. Here, I say gently. Have this.
She sniffles a little, then sits up, eyes puffy. What is it, she asks, rubbing her nose on her calico sleeve. Breakfast, I say grandly, unfurling a cloth napkin across her lap. I set the board carefully in front of her, and she surveys the contents.
Oh for Pete’s sake, I mutter, and grab the creamer and pour the milk over the cereal. I jam the spoon into her hand and mime eating movements. It’s good, I assure her. L.I.W. looks doubtful, but she must be starving. I have a split-second of perspective through her eyes, and yeah, I guess a bunch of O-shaped things bobbing around in a bowl of milk must look kind of strange.
L.I.W. lifts a spoon of Cheerios to her lips and sips a little of the milk. Pasteurized, I tell her. Yum yum.
Mom comes in from weeding the front flower bed and I ask her if she can make raisin pie. Hm, she says, taking off her gloves. I might have a recipe for that. Guess what, I tell L.I.W.. You’re in luck.