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Tip me over and pour me out ~ Transcript from a tea party

Beatrix received a Flower Fairies tea set for Christmas. She’s wanted to host a tea party ever since. Today, she invited her two little brothers to her first tea party. We don’t get very formal with tea in our house. As a very classy person, I use the same tea bag for multiple cups, filling and refilling. I don’t take cream or sugar. Scones and cucumber sandwiches come from Target and Nowhere, respectively.

Her set includes four tiny plates, four tiny cups, a creamer, a sugar bowl, and the teapot. I explained some people like cream in their tea. Some like sugar. Some like both. Beatrix wanted to use real sugar and cream in her set, but I nixed the idea, especially since her tea was plain tap water. I didn’t think the boys would enjoy the teas I have in the house. They’d declare the tea disgusting and ruin her fun. It was all pretend.

Beatrix, setting a cup and saucer in front of the boys: Here is your plate and your cup. Here is your plate and your cup.

Archie: Mine’s got a GIRL on it!

Teddy: Yeah, girl!

Beatrix: They’re fairies. Would you like tea?

Teddy: Yeah, tea!

Archie: I’m thirsty!

Beatrix carefully poured about a teaspoon of water into each cup, including her own. She sat down.

Archie: More tea!

Beatrix poured more. Archie downed it in one swallow.

Archie: More tea!

Teddy: Yeah, more tea!

Beatrix sighed and poured more into each cup. She set the teapot on the table and reached for her cup.

Archie: More tea!

Teddy: More!

Beatrix: I haven’t even had any tea yet!

This is where I nodded in solidarity, remembering moments of passing out pizza slices to the horde only to hear calls for seconds before taking my first bite.

She started to pour more water into Archie’s cup, but it was gone. She went to the kitchen sink. I heard her turn on the water. She returned shortly after, but the water was still running.

Archie: You’re going to flood the house!

The hostess scrambled back to the sink to turn off the faucet.

Beatrix: I don’t know what I was thinking!

Teddy: More tea!

Archie: More tea! It’s delicious!

Beatrix reached for her cup, raised it to her mouth, and took a sip.

Archie: More tea!

Teddy: Yeah, more tea!

What a pair of rude little boys. No decorum, no hands in laps, no raised pinkies. Just three kids slurping water from thimbles, smacking their mouths, clamoring for more as if they’re hobbits on leave from a pirate ship. I thought about intruding, insisting on manners, but sometimes there is nothing more tiresome and unwelcome than a mother seizing on a teachable moment.

So, I let it slip by.

Ta-ta, teachable moment. Do come again. Next time, I’ll have the kettle on.

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