Tiny bubbles collect at the edge of my coffee mug. This morning I’m drinking from the white one with black polka dots, the one I brought back from America. A little piece of Target in my Korean kitchen.
True and Ev are sitting up against the sunny morning windows, their silhouettes rise and fall as they stand up and sit back down at their little table. Ev is reading a book, narrating the vehicles with great dramatic voices, “Then the hell-copter broke the law!”
Shortly after I sit down with my coffee, the baby squawks from his crib. I open the bedroom door to see his head bobbing outside his green winter blanket. He’s sitting on my lap now, reaching for my phone, smiling at his dad across the table.
True has convinced Evan to play “chores” now, which means she’s bossing him into cleaning her room. “Put the rings over there!” She commands.
Ev is singing “Korean” words which transitions into a song about zippers.
All night the boys alternated waking up. Fuss. Stop. Fuss. Stop. Fuss. Stop.
As predictable as hunger or the sun, my body lies down and gets up.
They always call for their mother.
There was a play kitchen fight just moments ago. An argument about refrigerator rights or yarn ramen noodles turned ugly fast. The heart-apron fastened around True’s neck hangs in irony. There is not a lot of love in their kitchen. Too many cooks, I guess.
They walk away from a mess of plastic food. Bananas, chicken, a clump of blueberries, wooden broccoli, felt black beans, plastic onions and cheese. One lonely, felt leak bursts out of a plastic stock pot. Plates are overturned with bowls and spoons strewn about.
Jase swims through the mess, the piles, the heaps of toys left to rot near the kitchen.
He is content to stir the pot with his feet, laying comfortably on a green plate.
Meanwhile True and Evan have moved to the real kitchen table. They are eating ground beef and rice at 10am. This is our solution to bad attitudes: it must be your blood sugar. Eat.
So much of our daily life resets in the kitchen. We sit and chat, we scoot across the floor.
Maybe it’s a metaphor for family life. The kitchen is our collective brain? Our stomach? Our soul?
If we’re not careful we launch into philosophical ponderings and worries about mere behavior. We step on something sharp and plastic, not nourishing at all.
Sometimes it’s more beneficial to gather around a cup of cold coffee or a bowl of tangerines. I’ll peel one for you, one for me.
We’ll sit here till we eat them all.