He’s the last child at the dining room table, and last thing on his plate: a small pile of peas.
“Eat your peas, A. E.,” I say.
He looks at me, lips pressed closed, thin and tight.
“One bite. One bite and you’re done.”
No fork, no spoon, no knife. Just two fingers–index and thumb. Pinky raised delicately in the air. One pea, into his mouth.
He signs “all done.”
No, I sign back. More. More-more.
He takes another single pea, then another. All done?
Another and another, until the small pile of peas is halved.
All done, I say.
Avery smiles, and out roll the peas, each one round and whole, intact, not even chewed.