Happy Birthday, Charlene. Decided to make ya a gift ta go wif dat

card ;)

Standard disclaimers apply.

Teamwork

**

"Don't wanna flip da pancakes," Jimmy Grayson complained as his

sister opened the refrigerator door.

"Flip `em, or I'll beat you to within an inch of your life," she

ordered, pulling out orange juice. "I can't pour AND flip."

"I wanna pour," Jimmy said, waving the plastic pancake turner

around.

"You're not allowed," Mara pointed out snidely. "Remember the grape

juice on the dining room carpet?" She got out a glass and poured it

carefully, then placed it on the tray. "FLIP!" she whispered

harshly. "Flip `em, or I'm going flip YOU."

Making a face Jimmy climbed back onto the kitchen chair at the

stove. "You're da worst thister in da world," he declared, shoving

the pancake turner under the perfectly round pancakes, and then

flipped. As he turned them, the broke up and crumbled.

"Crap a dog. You're like stupid or incompetent or something," Mara

said, ripping the skillet and turner out of his hand.

"I'm telling daddy you said I was incontipant," the boy said,

hopping off the chair.

"Don't you DARE," Mara whispered harshly. "I'll kill you in your

sleep. This is for dad, you twit. Go fold napkins."

She tried to salvage the pancakes, but they weren't really that

great. She scraped them onto a plate and threw the frozen sausages

on the same griddle. They sizzled and hissed and smoked, but

eventually got blistering hot on the outside. She tossed them onto

the plate, and then cracked some eggs. "Cooking's easy," the girl

announced. "Alfie makes a big deal over nuthin."

"Weren't ya thuppozed to butter it up again? So'z they don't stick?"

Jimmy asked, folding a napkin into an origami swan.

Mara looked down at the frying pan for a second, and then her eyes

darted around the room.

"You suck," she was informed.

She started scraping at the eggs, which clung to the dirty

surface. "They're fine. Dad likes `em well-done anyways." A few

moments later, she was pushing the eggs onto the plate. The thin

brown chunks flopped onto the pancake crumbs and sausages. They

pushed the toast to the edge of the plate and almost off.

"I gets to carry it up!" Jimmy announced, snatching the wooden tray

before his sister could stop him. He bounded up the steps, pieces of

toast falling after him.

"Stupid head." Mara grumbled under her breath. She picked up the

face-down toast and shot up the stairs after him. She skidded on the

hall carpet and then put the toast back on the plate. "You're

dropping stuff." She looked at the tray. There was orange juice

spills all over. "This is sooo why you shouldn't have carried it."

Taking the edge of her night shirt, she dried up the mess, then

opened the bedroom door.

"SURRRRPRISE!" The two children shouted in unison. Mom's was the

first to lift off the pillows, but her eyes didn't open. Dad just

sort of pulled the blanket off of his head and gave him `the morning

eye.'

"Happy birfday! I cooked, and I carried it up. I maked the napkin

bird too," Jimmy announced, forcefully placing the tray onto his

father's lap.

The orange juice tipped and spilt onto mom's bare shoulder and her

eyes snapped open. "Guys? it's early?"

"Shh," dad whispered. "They worked together on this."

Mara and Jimmy beamed proudly at their handiwork.

"What have we got here? Orange juice, and toast?" He stared down at

the carpet fibers sticking to the buttery side, and then tried to

quickly brush them off, but it was hopeless. The little pieces of

crinkly white were stuck. "And? something. And sausage. Hey, I like

sausage. And pancakes?"

"Yeah, those're pancakes. Jimmy flipped `em too soon."

Jimmy frowned at his sister. "Those're eggs, daddy," he piped up

mischievously, pointing to the thin, crisp mess covering the rest of

the plate's contents. "She didn' budder da pan."

"Well, this all looks so good, guys. Lets start with the sausage."

He picked up one of the links and bit into it, practically coughing

as he did so. Looking down, he noted that the outside was warm, but

the inside was still squishy and frozen. "Good. Job." He coughed

out, swallowing quickly, and then reaching for the orange juice.

Grabbing the fork, he next tried the pancakes. They were compact and

dry as well. "Wow. That's different," he announced.

"The box said eggs and milk, but we ran outta milk, so I just used

extra eggs," the girl announced, proud of her improvisation.

Dick sat up a little further in bed, holding the tray on his lap. He

looked to his wife, then back to his children. "This is great, kids.

And I'm really proud of you guys for working together. Why don't you

guys step outside for a sec, and me and mom'll get dressed, then

we'll work on devouring this stuff, ok?" He gave them each a patient

pat on the head, then shoed them towards the door.

The two angelic little faces beamed as they floated out of the room.

Barbara sat up in bed, sighing. "They didn't make ME breakfast for

my birthday."

"Trust me. You don't want them to try," Dick whispered, poking at

the eggs. He contemplated disposal methods, and decided he could get

rid of most of it by flushing it down the toilet, then saying it

just looked too good to wait. "So? do you want to be the one to tell

them, or should I?" he asked, sliding out of bed.

"Tell them what?" Barbara asked, readjusting the blankets and

reaching for her chair.

Dick began taking the tray towards the bathroom. "That my birthday

was last week."

THE END

(And happy belated birthday to Charlene).