Lex and the girls came bursting through the door. Their faces were red and they were all laughing.
“Sounds like you’ve had a good time.” I helped them off with their coats and patted each one on the face. “Brr, you’re cold.”
“We’re fine, honl” Lex picked up Eddie who had toddled over to her and held his arms up. “C’mere little guy. How’s your cold?”
“He’s feeling much better. The meds Rodney prescribed are doing the trick.”
“That’s good, little man. I don’t like it when you’re not feeling well.” Lex kissed him on the cheek and he reciprocated with a wide open-mouthed slobbery kiss to her nose.
“You have to come with us next time we go to that café, Mom,” Lorrie led us all in the kitchen and pulled out the milk from the refrigerator while Mel retrieved a sauce pan from the cabinet. Lex opened the cabinet door with the hand that wasn’t holding our son and got the can of cocoa powder out.
I watched them like a well-orchestrated dance as they went about making hot cocoa. Once the milk was heating, Lex put Eddie down so she could pour the heated milk into the mugs that Melanie had brought over to the stove. Meanwhile, Lorrie went to the pantry for Graham crackers and a can of chocolate frosting.
I sat down at the table after putting Eddie in his high chair and pulling it closer to me. This was domesticity at its best. To see your loved ones who you’ve poured you heart and soul into working together to make a Saturday afternoon treat that we all enjoy, and letting me sit back and watch. My family is amazing.
Once we were all stuffing our faces with the chocolate frosted Graham crackers and washing them down with our hot cocoa, I asked them about lunch.
“Oh, Mommy, they’re the best!” Mel piped up.
“Who’s the best, Mel?” I looked around the table at the smiles that were breaking out on their faces.
The two ladies that own “Giggle Twins Café.”
“Ah, I see. You went to Parkdale for lunch?” Three heads nodded, their mouths too stuffed to speak.
Finally Lex said, ‘Amanda, you have to come with us next time. These two women, younger than Martha, own the café. Remember when we saw it when we were coming back from Ellie’s?”
“I remember. The place looked cheerful from the outside and when that guy opened their door while we were waiting for the light to change, the smells of their food made my mouth water.”
“Mine too. So I thought I’d take the girls there today and check it out. Oh my god, Amanda. Their food is better than SMPH!” I’d quickly clamped my hand over my wife’s mouth to keep her from teaching the children any new phrases I’d end up having to explain.
“Did you ask them why they called the café, ‘Giggle Twins’?”
“Didn’t have to. From the moment they met us at the door to the time we paid the bill and left, they laughed non-stop about one thing or another.”
“That’s right, Mommy.”
“You know how Ms. Francine is at the café in town?” Lorrie asked. “She’s all like, ‘order it, eat it, pay for it, and get out’.”
Melanie agreed. “Remember when she told me to eat faster cause she’s been on her feet all day and didn’t want wait around to go home and put her feet up.”
“These women are nothing like that, Amanda. Velda, the one who greeted us, kept us entertained by telling us all the crazy things they’ve gone through as they learned the restaurant business. And the other one, Jane, kept sticking her head out of the kitchen and asking, “Are you sure they don’t want their food well done? Then the food would come out and you’d know they’d been kidding. The food is fabulous, and their coconut cream pie is to die for. You’d love it.”
“You had coconut cream pie and didn’t bring me any?” I glared at my lovely family and crossed my arms to let them know I didn’t appreciate not having any pie.
“We couldn’t bring you any, Mommy, cause Momma ate the whole thing. I just got to lick her plate.”
I could tell that Lex was thinking quickly.
“Um…they said, next time I should bring my lovely wife.” Lex wiggled her eyes and looked at me, hopeful that she would weasel her way out of trouble.
I picked Eddie up out of his chair and handed him off to Lex. She looked at me, puzzled, until I stood up and grabbed the keys. C’mon, girls, let’s see what they have for dinner.”
“Don’t forget to give Eddie his meds.”
About two hours later, the sound of giggling filled the air. I leaned back in my chair and wondered if anyone would notice if I unbuttoned my jeans a little to make room for my overstuffed tummy. Lex was right; the food was to die for. And the Giggle Twins had brought out another coconut cream pie, to our delight.
“Poor Momma,” Mel said right before she stuffed a forkful of pie into her mouth.
“Yeah, right,” Lorrie added. “Poor Momma is going to miss both the coconut cream pie, and the apple cobbler.”
The girls had explained to the one called Velda that her momma had gotten in trouble for not sharing her pie. Of course, Velda giggled. Then she went to the kitchen and brought back two more pies.”
“Here ya go! We make ‘em fresh every day, and it’s near closing time.” I tried to pay for the pies, but the Giggle Twins just laughed and said it was their treat, seeing as how they’d fed our family twice in the same day.
“Besides,” Jane said, “Your lovely Missus said that you’d be back to pick up the pies she’d ordered earlier today.”