Coming Home 7

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Kumar decided on a cookie for breakfast.

“You can have anything!” he told his sister. “Even ice cream.”

“No way,” she said. “You’re tricking me, Robber. No one has ice cream for breakfast.”

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“They do here!” said Kumar. “Why do you think our grandma’s name is Cinnamon? It’s because everything is sugar and spice!”

Marshmallow wasn’t so sure. She’d never heard of a place where you could choose anything for breakfast.

“It’s probably a trick,” she said, but Kumar was too busy enjoying his oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie to agree.

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Marshmallow headed upstairs. Sure enough, there was her uncle Stellar, making a fresh batch of ice cream.

“Grandma, is it really truly true that I can have anything I choose for breakfast, even a cookie?”

“Yes,” said Cinnamon.

“Even ice cream?”

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“That’s what I’m having,” said Cinnamon.

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“In that case, I’ll have the same,” said Marshmallow, “on a cone with chocolate sauce.”

She had to admit, it made a delicious breakfast, and with the cone and everything, it didn’t leave her feeling wobbly afterwards, like too much sugar did.

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When she ran outside to play, she saw Uncle Stellar eating a double-decker chocolate ice cream cone.

“That your breakfast?” she asked him.

“More like lunch,” he said.

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She and her brothers spent the day racing along the beach, skipping stones, finding tiny crabs in tide pools, sticking their fingers in anemones, collecting striped and spotted shells, and making tiny paths out of blue and green pebbles for Princess Spirulina, Bug Puff, and Pony.

When at last they came inside at the end of the day, tired, cold, hungry, and full of all sorts of adventure and happiness, she felt ready for a hot plate of spaghetti with grated cheese and fresh breadsticks right out of the oven.

Her mom sat down with her own supper on a plate.

“Is that what you’re eating?” Marshmallow asked her.

“Yup.”

“What is it?”

“Marshmallow squares.” They both giggled.

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After dinner, Kumar and Tomas cleared the table and helped Cinnamon and Stellar wash the dishes and wipe the counters.

Marshmallow looked at the bright room, with its stacks of presents promising more good surprises to come, and lit candles that made her own heart sparkle with warmth.

“I love it here, Ma!” Marshmallow said. “Princess Spirulina never wants to leave.”

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