Derpy stirred a few crushed walnuts into her bowl of batter before mashing two bananas and adding them to the mix. One more dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and... there! She picked up the bowl and headed over to where her muffin pan sat on the counter.
As one eye trailed off, Derpy teetered to the side and caught a leg on the corner of the table, sending her crashing to the floor. She scrambled to swipe the upended bowl’s oozing contents back inside. Fortunately, she kept the floor spotless for just such an occurrence.
A familiar hushed voice floated through her mind. What’s wrong with you, Derpy? Can’t you do anything right?
“Are you okay, mom? That smells delicious!” called Dinky from the next room.
“Yes, dear.” How that filly got her impeccable sense of timing, Derpy would never know. “It’s okay. Keep going on your homework.” She poured the batter over the pan’s individual depressions, then wiped up the remaining mess with a rag.
“Mom, I’m having trouble with this reading assignment. Can you help?”
Of course you can’t. When were you ever good at homew—
“You always take your time explaining it to me. You don’t rush me like everypony else.”
Derpy smiled as she slid the pan into the oven and set the timer. Maybe Dinky would get one of those hourglass cutie marks that seemed so popular. “Sure, Dinky.” She strolled into the adjoining room and sat beside her daughter, her eyes sparkling as she grinned.
“What’s this word mean? Aurum,” Dinky said, testing its feel as she scrunched up her face.
“Oh. That’s an old word for ‘gold,’ sweetie.”
“Like your eyes!” Dinky said, breaking into a wide grin.
Those horrible things? Who could—
“I love your eyes! They always sparkle and make me feel warm.” Dinky reached up and hugged her mother’s neck, her ears perking up.
Derpy sat there stunned for a moment before returning the gesture. “You’re getting better at that,” she said, tousling Dinky’s mane.
“Better at what?” Dinky asked, her brow creased.
“Never mind. Why don’t we eat our muffins outside today? The weather’s beautiful.” Smiling, Derpy leaned in for another hug. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“I love you, mom.”
“I know. I love you too.” She hugged Dinky even more tightly.