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Last Friday, I went on a little road trip with my granddaughters in my daughter's car. I picked them up around 2:30 and asked if they had lunch; they said they did. I was craving a flame-broiled burger, "I didn't eat yet, would you two mind if I went through the drive-up at Burger King to get a burger." Both acknowledged that would be fine. "Would you like some French fries as a snack?"
Addison, the eight-year-old, said, "No, thank you. We had fries at lunch."
Four-year-old Evelyn differed, "Papa, can you get me one French fry?"
I laughed, "You only want one French fry?"
"Yes, just one, please," she answered. I looked in the rearview mirror; Ev maintained a straight face, but I still felt like I was getting punked.
The person at the drive-up would think I was nuts; "Yes, I'd like a Whopper with cheese, one French fry, and a medium, un-sweetened ice tea." With intentions of hedging her prank, I said, "Maybe I'll just get an order of fries and let you have one."
I set the sack in the passenger seat next to me and pulled onto the street out of the parking lot. From here, it's like setting a mouse trap; I reached into the bag pulling out one sole fry, then stretched my arm between the front seats into the back. I waited only a moment, then a little hand reached forward and took the bait. Next, I offered another fry to Addison on the other side of the car – she also took the bait.
After sending back a second French fry for Ev, I asked Addie if she wanted another. She did. "I'll just give you the box of fries; you guys can eat what you won't – just save a few for me."
After a few minutes, Addison confessed, "Papa, I accidentally ate the rest of the French fries."
"You accidentally ate them? Did you at least share them with Ev?"
Addie explained, "No, Ev only wanted one, so I ate them."
"But I gave her two," I replied.
"She gave the second one to me," Addie explained, "Then I ate the rest accidentally." I looked in the rearview mirror, they didn't actually 'high-five' each other, but the grins on my darling granddaughter's faces told the story – they got Papa, and they were pretty smitten with that.
An hour down the road, Ev presented a sleeve of Ritz crackers. "Papa, can I open these?" I inquired where she got them. "Mom sent them for snacks."
"Yes," I replied, then reaching between the seats, "May I have a cracker?" I felt something placed in my open hand; it was a small round cracker with a bite missing. I ate the cracker and reached between the seats. Another small cracker was placed in my hand – this time, about two-thirds were missing. Hmm.
I heard Ev wrestling with the wrapper about thirty minutes later, "Papa, would you like a cracker?"
"Yes, please," I said, offering my open hand. In the thirty minutes that passed, I had forgotten about the previous crackers provided. I brought my hand forward and in my palm was a morsel of cracker, no bigger than a sunflower seed. Looking in the rearview mirror, I saw Evelyn laughing. She got me again. I ate the crumb, "That was delicious. Thank you!"
Ev was laughing, "Do you want another one?"
"No thanks, I'm stuffed," I said, rubbing my belly with contentment.
I dropped the girls at their destination and drove back to my daughter's house to return her car. "Why are Ev's socks on the dashboard," she asked. I had no idea – it was a mystery to me.
A couple of days later, I went to get the girls and bring them home. We had a fun time on the way home playing I Spy With My Little Eye, and I'm Looking For… Traveling with a four and an eight-year-old is never dull. Ev asked me if I wanted a piece of her cookie, but I wasn't hungry and recalled the cracker incident, I declined.
"Ev, do you remember giving me a cracker with a bite out of it on the way down?" She started laughing. "And do you remember asking me if I wanted a cracker, then giving me a really small piece?" Both girls started laughing hysterically.
"Papa, Ev pranked you," Addie offered, quite proud of her little sister. We all shared a good laugh about that.
An hour or so later, it was dark outside when something fell from the sun visor, lightly bumping my head. I turned on the dome light looking for the item but didn't find anything. Maybe one of the girls was messing with me by touching my head. In the rearview mirror, I saw two innocent girls looking intensely at their iPad. It couldn't be them – they couldn't reach me from their car seats.
When we got back to my daughter's house, I was helping the girls gather their things from the car. I got Ev out of her car seat, "Where are your socks?" Both girls started laughing but didn't say anything. I found one of Ev's socks on the dashboard; the other was on the front, passenger's side floor.
Addison confessed, "Evelyn was bouncing her socks off your head." Ev threw her head back, laughing. The mystery was solved.
I laughed with them but then thought to myself, "If this little prankster is Ev at four, what is fourteen-year-old Evelyn going to be like?" I gathered up her socks, "I'm going to have to sharpen my skills!"