Exclusive Excerpt from Rules to Obey
by Susan Hawke
Jeffy smiled shyly. “Okay… Daddy.”
After that, I pretty much floated into the kitchen. I took my time making a simple lunch of sandwiches. I cut his into four diagonal pieces and removed the crusts before putting them on the divided toddler plate I’d bought for today. I hadn’t been able to find Transformers, so I’d settled for robots. The other compartments got filled with orange segments and sliced, peeled cucumbers covered in a light vinaigrette. My own sandwich was paired with an almost boring side salad. I filled a matching robot sippy cup with apple juice and got the table set before calling him in.
“Jeffy, it’s time to wash your hands for lunch. You can finish coloring after we eat.”
He hesitated for a moment, chewing his lip as if he were deciding whether or not to obey. I never doubted him but still smiled proudly when he set his crayon down and dutifully came into the kitchen.
“Good boy. Come join me at the sink, please.” His cheeks flushed bright red as he came and stood beside me. I matter-of-factly took foaming hand soap and made a game out of washing his hands. When Jeffy leaned forward and blew a puff of suds off the back of his hand with a quiet giggle, I knew we were on the right path. I made quick work of rinsing and drying his hands before nodding toward the table. “Good job. Now let’s have some lunch. I forgot to ask what you like, so I hope this will work.”