"What is this"? Big A's right eyebrow arched to the point of looking photo-shopped; if she were going to pick a word for her on-line mood, it would be "appalled".
"That", stated I with as much authority as I could muster, "is typically called dinner. Eat up".
"The dessert is on our dinner plate". She grabbed Little A's spoon just in the knick of time to stop her from eating her (gasp!) dessert first.
"Mommy's tired. I don't care which order you eat your food in, just eat it. Please."
"Little A is going to eat.
Do you think that's a good idea? Letting your kid eat cool-whip before corn"?
A stare-down ensued. Big A at the table with Little A, me at the counter, wiping crayon scribblings off the cupboard doors, not giving one iota of care as to what was consumed when, Little A, stuffing her face with pineapple and cool-whip via her hands.
"See? Do you see what she's doing now?" When I looked at Little A, her face covered in cool whip, I burst out laughing, which only added more fuel to the fire.
"Mom! How can you think this is funny? She's EATING COOL-WHIP FOR DINNER!" Her voice got as loud as it could without yelling, testing the limits of the allowable speaking decibel in our home.
I set down my Mr. Clean sponge and walked over to the table and touched Big A's shoulder, which she promptly drew away from me.
"Sweetie, I know it's hard for you to understand, but right now, if the worst that I can do is let you eat cool-whip before your corn on the cob, then I think I'm doing OK".
She looked up at me, no longer appalled, but aware that she was stuck in this existence, despite her fantasies and prayers of her real mom coming to find her someday.
"Fine. But don't expect me to clean up her puke from eating cool-whip before dinner".
Oh, Big A, I love you too.