Emma Plays with the Boys
The boys cluster round the baby gate at the top of the basement stairs, peering into the darkness in the depths. This is an extremely solid, hand-crafted gate. It does not bend, bulge, or wobble. Perfect for a gate closing off a steep set of handrail-free steps ended on a bare concrete floor. Comforting to know when three three-year-olds are peering over it.
"There's a MONSTER down there!" Darcy notes, devilment in his voice. The others huddle tighter, giggling, thrilled by the horror of it all. "Yeah!! A MONster!!"
"A BIG monster!" Arthur expands. More giggling. Much pointing and oohing and whispering.
"Excuse me, guys!" Emma bustles them to one side so she may go downstairs.
"Emma! You can't go down those stairs!" George pronounces, a quiver of genuine worry tickling his voice. "There's a monster down there!" Then he giggles. He's kidding, and he knows it. Does he know it? Yes! Yes, he's kidding. Ho, ho, ho. Is she really going down there?
Emma gets to the bottom of the stairs, disappears from view. The boys peer down the stairs, nudging and giggling. "Emma's gone to to the monster!"
"Yeah! Emma gots to be careful of the monster!"
A roar comes up the stairs. The boys step back from the gate. A monster just roared! But there is no monster. But the monster just roared! The boys' giggles are tinged with uncertainty. All except Arthur, who is positively giddy with the excitement of it all.
Emma reappears!! All is well! She was just getting something from the dryer. Emma was just teasing. Silly Emma! The boys dance and laugh. See? It was just a pretend monster! WE knew that.
Emma turns to the basement stairs, and waves her fingers at the darkness below. "Byeeee!!"
"Who are you saying 'bye' to, Emma?" The boys are curious, a little alarmed, smiling.
"The monster!" Emma smiles warmly at the boys.
Emma will make a great mother some day.