The next morning, Vinnie is sitting at the breakfast bar eating yogurt, blueberries and Life cereal. Each time he scoops yogurt, he dips his spoonful of yogurt into the blueberries and then the cereal. Dexter lies at Vinnie’s feet cleaning up whatever doesn’t fit into Vinnie’s mouth. Dexter follows the beagle species motto, if it falls off the table, it’s good to eat.
Vinnie waits until he has a mouth full of food before he speaks to his mom. “Mom, why can’t I have pepperoni pizza for breakfast like Joey?”
Vinnie’s mom can interpret speaking with a mouthful language. She says, “Vinnie, how many times have I told you not to speak with food in your mouth? Chew it, swallow it, and then speak. Is that so hard?”
Vinnie’s mouth is empty. He says, “Which question do you want me to answer first, Mom?”
Vinnie’s mom glances at the digital time on the microwave and thinks, ten more minutes, I can do this. I can do this. She says, “Never mind. I have a different question. What are you going to tell Mrs. Navis today about your science fair project? This was one of your assignments.”
Vinnie quickly takes another scoop of yogurt, dabs the scoop in the blueberries and flips the scoop upside down on the cereal. He pushes it down. When he’s satisfied he has enough Life cereal clinging to the yogurt, he turns the spoon over and sticks it in his mouth.
Vinnie’s mom takes a sip of her coffee and says, “Well?”
Vinnie points an index finger to his mouth and shrugs his shoulders. Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes. She watches Vinnie slowly and carefully chew his blend of blueberries, yogurt, and cereal. He swallows. After swallowing, Vinnie places his right hand on his throat and acts as if he’s choking.
Vinnie’s mom says, “Are you alright?”
Vinnie nods, then barely whispers, “I need some orange juice. It’s the only thing that will unclog my throat.”
Vinnie’s mom turns and walks to the refrigerator. She opens the refrigerator door and sees the carton of orange juice. Next to the carton of orange juice is her container of Chinese takeout. She reaches for it, pulls it out of the refrigerator, opens it, and turns around, “Vincent! Don’t you dare stick food in your mouth.”
“But, Mom. Rupert told me you might get sick if you ate it. What was I to do, but give it to Dexter. Nothing makes him him sick, Mom, honest. One time I saw him eating puke …”
“Enough, Vincent. Enough. I don’t want to hear it.”
“What about your science project?”
Vinnie points to the microwave digital clock. “I don’t want to miss my bus, Mom. I better make sure my backpack has all my homework. I am going to try really hard at school today. I hope Mrs. Navis is in a better mood than she usually is.”
Vinnie hops down from the stool at the breakfast bar and turns to head toward his room.
“Vincent! Yes, Mom.”
“What are you supposed to do after breakfast?”
“Brush my teeth, Mom.”
“What else, Vincent?”
“Aah, what, Mom?”
“Come right back and clean up your area.”
“Do I have to?”
“Oh, dear God, yes, you have to.”
“Darn. I was going to tell you what I was going to do for my science project and this made it slip out of my mind.”
Vinnie takes his half eaten bowl of Life cereal, scoops out the remainder of the half eating container of yogurt and puts on the cereal. He dumps the remaining seven blueberries on the mix. Vinnie places the breakfast concoction on the floor near Dexter. Dexter doesn’t need a command to eat. He’s on it like red on tomatoes.
Vinnie’s mom spots Dexter finishing Vinnie’s breakfast, “Vincent!’
“I can’t hear you, Mom. I’m brushing my teeth.”
“You can hear me. Do not keep feeding Dexter, he is grossly overweight.”
“It’s all muscle, Mom,” says Vinnie brushing his teeth with water. Toothpaste takes too much time for a third grade boy in a hurry.
Vinnie comes out of the bathroom, hurries to the kitchen area. He says, “Love you, Mom.”
“Love you too, Vinnie. That’s good enough. Get your backpack and hurry on the bus will be at the end of the street in three minutes,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s mom gives Vinnie a hug. Makes sure his backpack is on straight. She says, “Did you put your lunch bag in your backpack?”
“Yes, Mom. I’m all set. I gotta go, Mom. Joey might be at the bus stop with an extra piece of pizza for me,” says Vinnie as he opens the door and runs out.
Vinnie turns around, “Punk yah, Mom. Ha ha.”