"Cider!" they demand in unison.
The bartender, who is a Bear holding a mop, looks visibly agitated.
The Tiger points towards the Lion and asks the Bear "How do you like them apples?"
It's at this point that the Bear, who is not amused, assembles an angry mob and takes out after the three thirsty patrons determined to put an end to the madness these unlikely friends have wrought.
Or something like that.
Sorry, but I have read the Dr. Seuss classic 'Ten Apples Up on Top' to Annabelle so many times lately that I am starting to make up alternate versions in my head.
She loves the story though. Demanding it each and every night at least once before bed. It's pretty cute how she reads along as we turn the pages. "One on Top! Two on Top!" and then gets visibly concerned for the Dog, Lion, and Tiger as the mob of angry birds and bears chase them, trying to stop their apple fun.
"A Mop! A MOP!" she will exclaim in her squeaky but high pitched toddler voice, then express sheer joy when the cart is run into at full speed and the explosion of apples end up landing on top of all the parties involved.
Lukas, who loves to read to his little sister, or Mrs. LIAYF will usually start her off with a couple pages before sending her off with me to read the rest of the story. Of course, I always have to start over.
In fact, I have read this story so many times recently that I think it's soaked into my subconscious. And not in a good way - ie: my lame attempt at a bar joke above.
Another example of the saturation of this children's story into my brain came at dinner last night. As is often the case with Annabelle after a long day at preschool, she was tired and loopy, and didn't want to eat her dinner.
Mrs. LIAYF and I were determined to get her to eat something though, knowing of course that if she didn't she would put a sudden halt to her bedtime routine later and demand a bedtime snack. We were unsuccessful in getting her to eat the grilled chicken I had so lovingly cut into tiny pieces for her plate.
So I tried the apple slices.
This is where my brain, which was obviously full from alternate story scenarios, failed to make the correct neural connections in my prefrontal (or maybe postfrontal) cortex where decision making is housed.
"How about eating your apples, Annabelle?" I started. Seeing three slices there I then followed with "Just the three apples Annabelle." I should have stopped there, but the rest just sort of came shooting out.
You know where I'm going with this don't you?
"Three Apples up on Top!" I exclaimed, realizing immediately I had made a mistake I couldn't unmake.
Yes, almost immediately our 3 year old tired girl grabbed those apple slices and smashed them onto her head right there at the dinner table and with an extremely loud and exuberant howl yelled "Three on Top!!" before letting out a laugh that was well out of proportion to the joke. It came out as almost maniacal.
She then hopped down from her chair and, like the three beasts in the story, started to dance around and try to do tricks with her apple slices still mucking up her hair. Trying to stop her was nearly impossible at this point.
My face instinctively made a sheepish expression as I glanced over at Mrs. LIAYF, who was giving me a look most husbands are probably familiar with. Without saying a word, she was saying "Really?"
Mea Culpa. I could only blame that blasted book. The book, the book!
Yes, we did stop her apple fun. In this case, after triggering her I had to become the Bear with the Mop.
But, as is par for the course in our household, watching our 3 year old cutie pie do anything absurd, you can't be irritated for too long. A while, yes, but not long.
We all ended up laughing at her humorous display, but letting her know it wasn't appropriate for the dinner table, and directing her back to her meal.
We have shelves and shelves of kids books.
It may be time to pick another for bedtime.