(During bedtime scratch back ritual after Charlie’s return from his Cape May trip with the grandparents and cousins)
Charlie: For the record, I only missed you a little bit.
Cassie: Yea? You missed me?
Charlie: At back-scratch time.
Cassie: Ahhh. Before bed.
Charlie: Yes. What I didn’t miss was your constant nagging about safety and sunblock and I can’t have three glasses of lemonade before bed because I get too hyped.
Cassie: You didn’t have lemonade before bed—
Charlie: No! I didn’t do that again. I got the message the first time! Thanks to you, Grandma wouldn’t let me have lemonade after that. Sheesh!
Charlie: No more talking. It’s ruining the back scratch.
Charlie: It’s such a trade-off….put up with the nagging to get the back scratch.
Cassie: I know it.
Charlie: How old was Max when he stopped having his back scratched?
Cassie: Eighth grade, I think.
Charlie: Then it wasn’t worth it anymore for him….the nagging mothering stuff for the back scratch?
Cassie: I guess. Pffft.
Charlie: Good. I have a few more years left before I won’t be able to take it anymore.
Cassie: (sighing) Oh brother…
Charlie: Shhh. Please keep scratching. I love you, Mom.
Cassie: Love you too.