little darlings

BG 234 – What would you like to drink, darling?

As was often the case on Friday mornings, I sat at a table in a local catering establishment, where they served – only during the day – tea, coffee and other drinks, various types of pastries, and also a small assortment of sandwiches. Most customers came there mainly to have a leisurely chat.
That morning a young mother came in with two small children. She had left a stroller outside and, with one child on her hip and the other with a little arm wrapped around her leg, went looking for a high chair. She found one, and luckily she got help from one of the other customers to place the thing at a free table for her. She put the smallest child in it, who, after being freed from her little jacket, immediately stuck her thumb in her mouth and began to look around with big eyes. Then she tried to convince the other child, a little boy, whom she had stripped of his jacket with a little more effort, to climb onto a chair himself. He didn’t want to know about that. He started whining and mom had to pick him up and put him on the chair.
When she had hung her own coat over the back of her chair and had also sat down, the owner of the business, Annie, came standing next to her with a notepad and a pen to take her order. She wanted a coffee please, she said. And then she turned to the little boy, who was perhaps just three years old, and asked, ‘What would you like to drink, darling?’
When the boy did not answer immediately, she turned to the little girl, who was certainly not more than a year old: ‘And you, darling, what would you like to drink?’
I watched the scene from a distance, somewhat surprised and amused.
The mother kept asking her children …

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