Sunday, August 19, 2012

Clarissa Can't

Clarissa Dowd could do many things. She could make her bed. She could tie her shoes. She could set the table. The only problem was she didn't want to do any of them.

"Come on, Clarissa," her sister Victoria urged her in the morning. "Make your bed.We're going to be late!"

Clarissa just stood around looking helpless. "I can't." she said making sad eyes and puffing out her lower lip.

Victoria glared at her and made the bed herself. Was she the only one who was getting a little tired of Clarissa's poor-little-me routine.

"Clarissa, tie your shoes so you don't trip." warned her father as they got ready to leave.

Clarissa frowned and looked sad. "I can't." she said sadly.

"For heaven's sake." replied her father grabbing Clarissa's feet and tying first one shoe and then the other.

At dinner time, Mommy said. "Clarissa, why don't you set the table?"

"I can't." said Clarissa batting her eyelashes and giving her the saddest puppy dog look of all.

Mommy wasn't buying that. "Oh, I think you can." she replied.

"No, I can't." insisted Clarissa leaving the room in a huff.

As she left, Victoria entered the room. "Seriously, Mom," she said angrily banging plates around as she began setting the table in Clarissa's place. "You have to do something about her." she said pointing to Clarissa in the other room. "It's getting to the point where she refuses to do anything."

"Don't worry." replied Mommy with confidence. She knew just what to do.

The next  day was Saturday. In the morning, Clarissa came downstairs in her pajamas and fluffy slippers. She sat down sleepily at the kitchen table. It was strange that Mommy wasn't in the kitchen already cooking. Clarissa didn't smell any food cooking either which was really weird.

Victoria entered the kitchen and poured herself an orange juice. "Can you pour some for me too?" asked Clarissa.

Victoria shook her head. "I can't." she said as she hurried out of the room with her juice.

Mommy entered the room. "Good morning, my sweet." she greeted Clarissa warmly.

"Mommy!" cried Clarissa excitedly. She was getting really hungry. "What are we having for breakfast? I don't smell any food cooking. Are we going out to eat?"

"No." replied her mother. "We are not going out to eat." Clarissa expected Mommy to start cooking breakfast but she just made herself a cup of coffee and sat down at the table with the newspaper.

"Aren't you going to make breakfast?" asked Clarissa near tears. By now, her stomach was rumbling and she was having huge hunger pains.

"I'm sorry, sweetie. I can't." said Mommy. She took her newspaper and her coffee and left the room as Daddy entered.

"Daddy!" called Clarissa. "Are you going to make breakfast?"

Daddy kissed Clarissa on the cheek. "I can't." he said.  "Are you ready, Victoria?" he asked.

Victoria entered the room with her jacket on. "Sure, Dad," she said. Mommy was right behind her.

"Where are you going?" asked Clarissa.

"I'm taking Victoria to the park." explained her father.

"What about me?" pouted Clarissa. "I want to go to the park too, and what about breakfast?"

"Oh thanks, but I already had a muffin." said Victoria. She and Dad headed for the door.

"You can go to the park if you get dressed." said Mommy.

"I can't." said Clarissa.

"Well, I'm sorry then." said Mommy.

"Can't you get me dressed?" begged Clarissa practically in tears.

"No, I can't." replied Mommy shaking her head.

"Well then, can you at least make me breakfast, please? My tummy hurts."

Mommy shook her head again. "I can't." she said repeated.

Clarissa started to cry. "Why won't anybody help me?" she said.

Mommy took Clarissa on her lap. "Sometimes, you just have to help yourself." she replied gently. "What if I decided I was never going make breakfast again or lunch or dinner or any meal?"

That would be awful. Clarissa shuddered at the the thought of as she felt her tummy rumbling again.

"If you want me to make breakfast and lunch and dinner and do the things I need to do. Then, you are going to have to do things you need to do." explained Mommy.  "Do you understand?" she asked.

Clarissa nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, Mommy." she replied.

"Can you please set the table now, and I'll make us some breakfast."said Mommy.

"Yes, mommy." replied Clarissa with confidence. "I can."

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