"Joey, don't" I say.
My feet propped, babe in arms, I lean into the plaid couch. Craig and I pause conversation and stare at Joe. He wheedles a stack of Would You Rather cards on the desk, looks right at me.
"JoOOeey," I say.
He grins, tilts his melon-sized head, blink-blinks those glossy blue eyes.
"Go. Ahead," I say and blink-blink my glossy greens back at him.
"I won't," he says. He retracts that hand, blink-blinks again. He blinks. I blink. He blinks.
"Go, ahead," I say again.
He backs up. His grin slack, he arches his eyebrows. "I WON'T," he says. He pivots on a heel, something like control suddenly there before him.
"Go. Ahead," I say.
He seizes it, self-control. Like the tail-end of a flag fraying in the wind, he seizes it and runs. It's a banner trailing after him. Self-control.
Go, ahead," I call.
"You heard me," he shouts. It's a drumroll down the hall, those feet pattering away, Joey driving the chariot of his will.
5664. Butter croissants.
5666. Craig rototills the garden.
5667. Jack wrestles his hardest at the last wrestling match.
5668. Jane and Lu go to a tea party.
5669. Jack finishes practicing piano. "You hardly played any of the time." Jane says. "Yes, I did. I just had to look at how the song goes," Jack says. "I don't want to hear excuses," Jane says.
5670. Excuses, indeed. We work to eradicate the nasty pests.