What should we do Grandma?” Allison Jackson looked up from her bowl of cereal. “Can I have some more orange juice?” she added.
“What’s the magic word darling?” said Rose.
“Abracadabra,” said Allison, eyes twinkling.
“The other magic word,” said Rose.
“Please?” said Allison.
“That’s the one,” said Rose. She poured half a glass of juice for the little girl.
“I like orange juice,” said Allison. She took a short drink and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I wonder what orange juice is made of?” she said.
“Use your napkin sweetheart,” said Rose.
Allison looked confused.
“For wiping your mouth,” said Rose.
“Oh. OK.” Allison picked up her napkin and wiped her mouth again.
“That’s better,” said Rose. “Orange juice is made from oranges,” she explained. “That’s why it’s called orange juice.”
Allison thought about that for a second. “I thought it was just for the colour,” she said. “At home sometimes Mommy asks me what kind of juice I want and then I ask what kind we have and then she says we have orange juice and red juice. So that’s why.”
“I can see how that could be confusing,” said Rose.
“What is red juice made from?” asked Allison.
“Red things,” said Rose.
“I have red shoes,” said Allison.
“Red juice is not made from red shoes,” said Rose. “It’s made from red fruits. Like raspberries. Or strawberries. Or cranberries.”
“You know what would be funny?” said Allison.
“No, what?” asked Rose.
“If orange juice was made from bananas,” said Allison. “That would be very surprising. Then people would ask, what is this orange juice made from and when people would say bananas, then everybody would be surprised.”
“That would be very surprising,” said Rose. “In fact I’m surprised you even thought of that.”
Allison took a final spoonful of cornflakes and chewed thoughtfully. “I think bananas are surprising anyway,” she said. “When Mommy asks me if I want a banana I say no thank you I don’t like bananas but then she gives me some anyway and then I eat some and it tastes good. That’s when I’m surprised.”
“Why do you say that you don’t like bananas?” asked Rose.
“Because I don’t,” said Allison. “I like grapes.”
“But you just said when you eat a banana it tastes good,” said Rose.
“It tastes good, but I don’t like it,” said Allison. “Because if I do like it then Mommy will give it to me all the time and never give me grapes.”
“Oh, well, that makes perfect sense,” said Rose.
Allison pushed her plate away. “What are we going to do now?” she asked. “Can we bake cookies?”
“I don’t know if we have time for that,” said Rose. “Your mom might be here to pick you up before we’re done.”
“I can bake cookies very fast,” said Allison. “Like this.” She picked up her spoon and stirred her empty cereal bowl vigorously.
“Wow,” said Rose. “How fast do you think that is?”
“Fifty kilometres an hour,” said Allison. “Or maybe even faster. Like 30 11.”
“Well that is really fast,” said Rose. “What kind of cookies would you want to make?”
“Any kind with chocolate chips,” said Allison. “Mommy lets me eat some chocolate chips when we make cookies. Sometimes when she’s tired she lets me eat some chocolate chips even if we’re not baking cookies.”
“Tired parents do some strange things,” said Rose.
“If you’re really tired,” said Allison, “I could just eat some chocolate chips. If that would make you feel better.”
“That’s very sweet of you,” said Rose. “But I had a good long sleep, so I’m not tired.”
“Me too,” said Allison. “I like sleeping over at your house.” She looked around suddenly. “Where’s Grandpa?” she asked.
“Grandpa went to the farm,” said Rose. “To look after the cows.”
“Oh good,” said Allison. “The cows will be hungry because Daddy isn’t there to give them breakfast.”
“And later Grandpa will come home and he’ll be hungry,” said Rose. “So we should bake some cookies for him.”
“Yes!” Allison jumped down off her chair. “I knew there was a reason!”
“That’s the good thing,” said Rose opening the cupboard door and beginning to collect the necessary ingredients. “There’s always a reason for cookies.”
“The other good thing is cookies,” said Allison, pushing a chair up to the kitchen counter and climbing up on it. “I’m ready,” she said.
“Ah, no you’re not my dear,” said Rose. “You’re missing the most important part.”
“What’s the most important part?” asked Allison.
Rose reached into the drawer next to the stove. “The most important thing for baking cookies,” she said, “is an apron.”
Allison shook her head. “No,” she said. “The most important thing for baking cookies is chocolate chips.”
Rose smiled. “I stand corrected,” she said.