Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why Didn't We Think Of That Sooner?

Have you ever done something that worked out great and then wondered why the hell didn't we do it like that before? No, I'm not talking about that you sick bastards. Honestly, what's wrong with you? I ask a simple question and your mind goes straight to the gutter. Anyways, what was I saying? Oh yeah, here's a tip that might spice up your sex life. Just kidding.

So from time to time mealtime can prove challenging. When I say from time to time I mean the times we eat. My kids aren't really picky eaters, as I've said. The problem comes from the older one deciding she'd rather play than eat. An issue further complicated by the fact the little one takes her cues from her big sister. It leads to the negotiating that parents have had to resort to throughout the ages. "Eat four more bites and then you can play. Ok, that doesn't count as a bite. I'm talking about four normal bites. Fine, eat those potatoes and then you can play." Can't help but think that's the one upside of famine. Can't imagine parents have to fight that battle when starvation is a major issue. Guess I'm just the sort of person who sees the silver lining in every cloud.

Anyways, we were having supper tonight. The kids and I baked a cake today so that was sitting on the counter. A big chocolate bribe I gladly used as incentive to get the older one to eat her supper. That worked for a few bites and then it became negotiation time. She told us that she wanted to save room for cake. I was figuring out in my head how much chicken and potato she'd have to eat before I felt like I'd done some decent parenting. I was about to reach for the Canada food guide when my wife had a stroke of genius. "You know the more supper you eat, the more dessert you can have." Brilliant. Much better than when I told her it didn't matter how much supper she ate because the supper section of her stomach was separate from the dessert section.

"No, your supper doesn't go into that part of your stomach. That part is just for dessert. What do you mean you don't believe me? You're three, you're supposed to take my words of wisdom at face value. Fine, I'll go on wikipedia right now and prove it to you."

It's really not fun having a toddler call you on your BS. Thanks to my wife's quick thinking I didn't have to go through that, again. Our little girl went to town on her supper and then made short work of her cake before going off to play. That left the two of us there wondering why it took us so long to think of that. I assume it's the way inventors feel when they finally get it right. "Platinum filament, what the hell was I thinking? What a dumbass I was." It just goes to show that a little luck and improvisation are the cornerstones of adequate parenting. The problem I see arising later is she's going to clue into our little trick. I just wonder how long before she's going to want us to quantify the correlation between how much supper she eats and her dessert size. I figure I'll just stick an old tire gauge against her stomach to measure it's fullness and then consult a periodic table to come up with the answer. I figure if it looks scientific enough she'll believe me. Either that or I'll just pick up the phone and call the "dessert fairy".

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