It was a family dinner like any other in the Brown household. I was bribing Lars to eat all of his supper in return for a brimming bowl of deliciousness, which included strawberries and whipped cream with an added touch of sprinkles on top. It was obviously the sprinkles that sealed the deal.
Sophie of course was offered the same deal, but my darling daughter, you see, does not give in as easily to this kind of corruption. She did not want to eat her roast beef dinner, and I am sure that no amount of multi-coloured sprinkles would have changed that. I held strong though while telling her that she would not get any dessert until her plate was clean. My heart sank a little as I dished up Lars’ bowl of berries and cream. Sophie looked idly by knowing that she would not receive any as her plate still had 90 percent of its contents still lying there vetoed and untouched. The girls meanders over to me and gives me a tug on the hem of my shirt, “Mama? I don’t get any?” And she said it in the kind of way that my heart ache.
It is times like these when I want to just give in to every rule and regulation I make as a mother and say, “Oh yes dear, you can have this…Having nothing in your belly aside from sugar just before bedtime seems like a wonderful idea.” But no, I again think of my responsibilities as Mom, and instead tell her I will dish her up a bowl, but she has to go eat her food first. This way, I tell her, your treat will be ready and waiting once you are done.
This answer seems to suffice for the time being, and I make my way down to the laundry room in our basement to swap over the stewing pile of whites that I keep forgetting about in the washer. I get a little carried away down there, because let’s face it, the laundry is just never done. As I arrive back in the kitchen I immediately realize I have a problem on my hands.
Sophie’s plate of roast beef and veg is not touched from the last time I saw it, but the girl is nowhere to be found. Lars is sitting in the living room playing his DS (which I told him he wasn’t allowed to play after dinner time, but I will have to deal with that one later as I have a MIA child on my hands now). I ask him where his sister went, and he gives me an occupied ‘I dunno’ as he feverishly tries to defeat Bowser in a Super Mario Brothers game.
I run up to the bedroom area of the house, but not before noticing that the bowl of desserts that I had made for Sophie’s impending completion of her dinner was also on the lam. I round the corner to my bedroom where Treehouse blares loudly almost deafening me as I walk into the room. There smack dab in the middle of the floor in front of the TV is a large dollop of whipped cream speckled orange, blue and pink with sprinkles. I still don’t see my darling daughter though, or the bowl which she has stolen.
I move towards the ensuite bathroom and hear a smacking sound of sorts. Once turning the corner I immediately have to hold back the urge to laugh. There is Sophie huddled neatly between the toilet and wall scooping handfuls of delightful whipped cream and berries into her drooling mouth. A white sugary element sits atop her head, as though she has found a new use for the whip cream as a wig. And her hands are stained in rainbow colours from the melting sprinkles.
“Sophie! What are you doing?” I ask, trying to sound scolding between kerbed laughter. “I’m sorry Mama!!!” She immediately begins bawling, I’m not sure whether that is from remorse or embarrassment…Or maybe a bit of both. I explain that I am upset because she stole, and that stealing is not alright even if we want something very badly.
I think she understands as she comes to sit on my lap and gives me a hug. She tells me she will not do that again, but as I have said before Sophie is my ‘strongly willed’ child- And I can’t see this being the last of our misadventures together!