I must hand it to my little 5-year-old teenager, her brain is always working.
Last night was like many other nights in our household; we went out to eat. Like most people we have our favorite haunts for a quick mid-week dinner and on this night we chose a little Mexican food restaurant that we like to frequent.
As is the custom, my wife ordered her quesadillas, “cheese only.” I order from the menu and our child asked for her typical side order of rice and flour tortillas. We ate a few chips and guacamole while waiting for our food. The kid loves guacamole. She has eaten it since a friend of ours decided to feed it to her when she was a baby. She hated baby food, but she loved guacamole.
Our food came out and we enjoyed the dinner. As usual, our child didn’t eat much of her rice an managed only half of a tortilla. This is the same 5-year-old who polished off two homemade bean burritos and three fruit rollups for supper the night before. She has gotten in the habit of not eating much when we eat out, then asking for food as soon as we get home.
“I’m full,” she said as she began flattening out the remainder of her rice to make a pancake.
At this point I gave her my stern fatherly look and told her that I did not want to go home and immediately hear her asking for food to eat … she needed to eat her supper.
“But I’m full,” she said again.
We finished eating then had to run over to the store to pick up some items for one of the seemingly endless list of Christmas parties we have to attend each year.
We spend a few minutes trying to complete the self check-out line because the other line we were in was having trouble with the debit-card machine. Needless to say, checking out took longer than it should have, but we weren’t in the store too long.
We returned home and got comfortable. No sooner had I sat down to watch a little TV than my child saunters into the living room.
“Da-da,” she says looking at me.
I know what is coming. The three grains of rice she ate for supper have worn off and she wants jelly sandwich or macaroni and cheese. Remembering what I told her at supper, I am prepared to tell her no and send her off to bed hungry because she didn’t eat her supper.
She looks at me with her big blue eyes … “I’m ready for dessert.”
A slow grin spreads across her face because she knows she has caught me.
“That’s what you eat after supper, right?” She asks smiling.
What can I do? I have just been out-witted by a pint-sized kindergartener. And she knows it.
My next plan of attack was simple. “Ok.” I thought to myself. “She is going to ask for a brownie or a cookie and I can tell her that she didn’t eat enough supper to warrant a tasty treat for dessert.”
“What do you want for dessert?” I ask, trying to set my trap.
She looks at me, grins and says … “Cheese!”
Game, set, match! I lose.