(Urchin's eating a candybar)
Me: (eyes widen) We have candybars?
Urchin: (snicker) Yeah, they're downstairs.
Dustfinger: You shouldn't have any; you have way too much junk at that school of yours.
Me: (to Urchin) I really don't think you should be eating that in your white shirt- you should eat dinner in your undershirt, then put your white shirt on; you don't want to get it stained. Also, you really need to comb your hair. (to Dustfinger) Can you comb his hair for him? It's sticking up in the back.
Dustfinger: It won't comb.
(I head to the basement.)
Mommy: (bending over oven in basement) I need you to taste the grapeleaves and tell me if they're ready!
Me: Oh...but I wanted to eat something milchigs...
Mommy: We're eating flaishigs in less than an hour!
Me: Okay- grapeleaves it is!
Mommy: (gives me grapeleaves on gold plastic plate. Urchin comes downstairs.)
Urchin: (thrusts candybars under my nose) Haha.
Me: I'm eating grapeleaves and they're good.
Taran: (goes to keyboard and starts playing a song)
Urchin: You're eating healthy; I'm not even eating healthy today (this is a huge departure from the norm)
Mommy: I don't trust you to take the grapeleaves out of the oven; Taran, go call Dustfinger over the intercom and make her come get them.
(Taran continues playing song on keyboard)
Taran: (goes to intercom) Dustfinger, come downstairs and take the pierogies out of the oven! (walks away, shakes head) Did I say pierogies?
Me: Just tell her to come downstairs!
Taran: Okay, okay. (to intercom) Dustfinger, come to the basement!
(insert image of Mother thundering "Family room!" It really is a family room, but we like calling it the basement)
Dustfinger (pounds down stairs, sees me): Hey! I want grapeleaves!
Me: Go ask Mommy if you can have them. (to Urchin and Tal, still by keyboard) You guys really shouldn't be eating dinner in your white shirts; you should eat in your undershirts.
Taran: We know.
Urchin: We're going to the mikvah, you chicken.
Me: (recalls custom of going to mikvah erev Yom Kippur) Oh.
Urchin: It's not the first time, either.
Urchin: Yeah, we went last year. You want to know who we saw there? (rattles off names)
Me: (still stuck on Urchin's epithet) Chicken?
Urchin: Yeah, it's my word.
[cut to upstairs discussion in kitchen; Taran is now eating a Baby Ruth]
Me: You're also eating candybars?
[Dustfinger and I have eaten grapeleaves; the boys have eaten candybars]
Me: That's not healthy, you know.
Dustfinger: You're one to talk! You ice-cream eater!
Me: You make that sound like an epithet.
Have a gemar chatimah tovah, everyone. Erev Yom Kippur in this house rocks. And Yom Kippur is a truly joyful day, for all our sins have been forgiven! We get to recreate ourselves through teshuva per Rabbi Soloveitchik, and now everything is beautiful again.