We like to bake and that afternoon we made oversized chocolate pumpkin muffins together. But since they were exceptionally large and very rich, owing to all those milk chocolate chunks, I cut the muffins in half for consumption. When only one half of one muffin remained, my six year old daughter indicated she would like to be the one to eat that remaining half, and I told her to talk to me about it after supper. Promptly at bedtime, she declared her need of a snack and I gave permission for her to eat something. Since I was already upstairs, her request for “that bread” didn’t seem strange to me. Almost surprised, she asked if she could “eat the whole thing,” and I still gave her the green light. When she questioned again if I was “sure” she could have it, I just wanted her to hurry and come upstairs, but I did remind her to eat it at the table.
20 minutes later my daughter joined me and I asked if she had finished her muffin. Rather incredulously, she said, “Muffin? What muffin?” “The pumpkin muffin you wanted for your snack,” I said. “I didn’t eat a muffin” she told me. My own curiosity now piqued, I wondered out loud, “What did you eat then?” She announced: “Zucchini bread!”
This was my moment. You know – that moment – when you realize you have failed as a parent to be completely and totally on top of the situation, and you find that no matter how you dissect your actions and words – you’ve brought it on yourself and your child is the reigning victor.
It all came back to me in a flash: the loaf of zucchini bread my mother shared with us – sitting on the kitchen counter, the recollection of me giving permission for my child to eat the “whole thing,” and now wondering if she really did. Laughing out loud I asked. I had to know. As it turned out, she couldn’t finish the entire loaf – although she tried – she only made it through about 1/3 of it, so she confessed she just licked what she didn’t finish eating.
The conversation deteriorated rapidly from there, as I was laughing so much. What do you do? I suggested that my daughter’s decision maker wasn’t functioning properly and she probably made a bad choice in licking the entire loaf of bread, preventing anyone else from having some. But, hey – who can blame her? Given the option to eat an entire loaf of my mom’s zucchini bread or lick what I couldn’t finish to secure it for myself later? I’d stick out my tongue.