There is this phenomenon that other parents may be familiar with. After spending hours preparing food requested by your little darlings ("What would you like ? Carrots ? NO. Avocado ? I hate avocado. Pasta ? Well, with cheese and NO butter, and I need fresh cold water to drink.") you finally settle down with a sigh in front of some pathetic snack. Perhaps the mashed up avocados that were so emphatically rejected.
And then suddenly, someone is standing close by. So close, that you can feel their hot breath. You can sense their little eyes staring, unblinking, at something. But what ? Surely not this food. I mean, after all, they just said they didn't want it. And you made them a meal of their own, which they consumed with gusto.
"What's that, mom?"
"Can I have some?"
"You know it's made of smashed up avocado?"
"And you want it?"
"Well, actually, NO. NO you may not have it, and do you know why ? Because it is 3:30pm and I am only now sitting down to eat my lunch, and instead of a meal I am having half a mashed up avocado that you just told me you HATED. Because I offered it to you first, remember? And you said "I hate avocado." Remember? Or am I just making this up? Because if I am, if senility has crept up on me, I really hope you will tell me, dont make me suffer, don't let me embarrass myself like this, but please, DID YOU NOT JUST SAY YOU HATE AVOCADO?"
"Yes. I'll have something else."
"And again, I say NO. I am not getting up to fix you yet another complete meal, your fourth meal of the day - or is it the fifth, you see I have lost track completely, I am so fatigued by preparing your food on demand that it is difficult for me to keep track. I know I made you two before 7:15am. But no matter how many meals you have had today, I know for a fact that the last one was just, let's see, 3 minutes ago. In fact, you are still CHEWING."
"And the sink is full of dirty dishes, and I am almost out of FOOD despite going to Costco yesterday."
"So how about this. How about you take, oh, let's just pick a number, let's say FIVE MINUTES to digest before you order another course. And in those five minutes I will frantically try to consume all of this guacamole that you so resoundingly rejected until you saw me eating it. And then, I will do the dishes. And then I will turn around, with a big huge Donna Reed smile on my face and make you another "snack". Would that work for you ?"
(long pause, we stare at each other, unblinking. It is a total, old fashioned stare-off. I will not blink first, I will not blink first I will not blink first.)
"Can I have some Cool Ranch Doritos while I am waiting?"
26 minutes ago