Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A cure for a case of the Mondays

A co-worker told me today that he and I both had a case of the Mondays. Considering the fact that it's Tuesday, well....it was as bad as it sounds.

So with that in mind I'm going to throw out the post I had in mind for today, which was meaningful and important (I swear), and instead share a story from this afternoon that literally had me rolling around on my living room floor, laughing uncontrollably.

So...here goes...

Zoe's a pretty good eater for a three-year-old. Give the kid a plate of broccoli or some green beans and she's excited. Eggs, bacon, sausage, all kinds of fruit. It's mostly easy to cook for her.

But still, she has her limits, and I was pretty surprised this afternoon when I looked out the window into our back yard and saw Zoe sitting on a lawn chair with Charles, happily munching on a banana pepper like it was...well...a banana. She devoured it, then came in bragging that she ATE a BANANA PEPPER from OUR GARDEN! Whew!

Then it was time for dinner, and Zoe had a plate full of goodness - broccoli, chicken and even a few French fries! But still, sometimes parent have to resort to tricks to keep their kids eating.

Tonight's trick involved another of Zoe's favorite foods: boiled peanuts. To my Yankee friends...I, too, cringed the first time I heard the words "boiled" and "peanut" back to back. Yuck, right? But no...they are one of my favorite things about living in Charleston. Cooked overnight in salted water with hot peppers and Cajun spices...YUM! And Zoe LOVES them.

We had some left over from a Memorial Day cookout, and Charles had the bag on the table, but Zoe hadn't noticed it. She'd cooled off on her dinner a bit, taking only sporadic bites, when suddenly Charles pointed to the back door and shouted, "Oh, wow, what's that?"

Zoe whipped her head around, and while she was distracted, Charles dropped a peanut on her plate.

Holy cow, that girl was DELIGHTED when she turned around and found it!

"Oh MY, Daddy! Mommy, where do you think that came from?"

The sincerity with which she then believed that the "Pink Witch" (Glinda from The Wizard of Oz) had dropped off that peanut, and the many that followed, was both hilarious and intense. And then, knowing that the Pink Witch was nearby, Zoe began to look out for the "Green Witch" (the Wicked Witch, of course), making the task of dropping more peanuts on her plate much easier, and also funnier.

"Mommy, there's the Green Witch!"

"Go away, Green Witch!"

By the time Zoe would return to the table from a trip to the window or the front door to scare away the Green Witch, there'd be more peanuts on her plate. In order to eat the peanuts, she had to eat more chicken or broccoli, but she was laughing, squealing and wholly distracted from the normal dinner-food the whole time.

"Look Daddy! More peanuts! Where do you think they came from?"

(To be honest, I know it's possible that she knew we were messing with her, but if so the joke's on her anyway, since she ate a big dinner and had a fun time doing it!)

So, by then, all three of us were laughing hard, and talk of cookies had begun. We don't mind if she has a small treat if she eats a good meal, so suddenly, Charles distracted her again, then mouthed to me, "Cookie."

I sprinted to the food closet to pull out a cookie and sneak it onto her plate, which was no small feat as the cookies were wrapped up in the loudest plastic bag EVER, and when she returned to the table, she almost fell over.

"A cookie, Mommy! Daddy, look! A cookie!"

That Pink Witch was really on a roll, though, and she soon struck again. The very next time Zoe's back was turned, I grabbed a can of whipped cream from our fridge. (Note: I LOVE whipped cream - whether it's fresh or from a can or from a tub, it's all AWESOME in my book! Zoe shares this love.) I shusshed a mound of it atop her only remaining piece of cookie, and when she came back to the table...well...

"Wow, look!" And she reached out...and grabbed...the pile of melty, mushy whipped cream. It squirted EVERYWHERE! Across the table, onto her face, over to Charles sitting three feet way. Everywhere.

And the look on Zoe's face...surprise, wonder, excitement, confusion. It was priceless.

I had to leave the room. I was done. The Pink Witch had left the building, laughing too hard to continue.

Happy Tuesday! Hope your work-week started better than mine! :)

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