Moments in Stellar Parenting.
by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
Two year-olds do this thing where they really seem to be listening, talking it all in, just getting you. And then they pull the old switcheroo. “I know you want ice cream, Sadie,” I say. “But first we have to have breakfast, which by the way is the most important meal of the day. After we have breakfast, we’ll watch another Dora or two, hit the park, come home, have lunch and then it is highly possible we’ll enjoy a delicious ice cream cone –or delicioso! As Dora would say.
“I want ice cream, mommy. Do you want ice cream?” Sadie hasn’t heard a word I’ve said. Maybe I should’ve paused the TV.
“I love ice cream. Only mommy can’t have any for awhile because right now she can only fit into sweatpants and even in the sweatpants arena she’s pretty much down to one pair. It’s not good. But I’ll be fine with a sugar-free tapioca.” Sadie looks at me and nods like we’re totally on the same page.
“Ice cream is yummy. I wannit” Now she’s fucking with me.
“I know you do, Sadie. Later okay?” The problem is, Sadie will be three in November and she still only weighs twenty two freaking pounds, I actually want nothing more than to give her the damn ice cream. It’s always a victory when she eats something fattening, even though I know intellectually that her caloric intake isn’t having much of an effect on increasing her weight or height and the focus really needs to be on her overall health. Still I’m her mom, and I like to see her eat.
“I want ice cream!” Sadie moans. And then come the tears.
Oh she’s good.
“Sadie. It is morning. Here are some choices of foods that are perfect for the morning…I’m thinking. My skills are down because I haven’t had any coffee yet this morning. Coffee is my biggest mental defense weapon against weak parenting but I’d been too lazy to set the coffee (Work of Art was on) last night so this kind of serves me right.
I open the fridge to forage around for “healthy choices.”
“How about a yogurt?” I ask knowing full well that she lost interest in yogurt right around the time I bought a 24-pack of her favorite brand at Costco.
“NO!” And now there are more sobs and she’s laying on the floor crying. You’d think I announced I was giving her up for adoption.
“All right. All right. Simmer down.” Then I make the mistake of opening the freezer to look and see if I have any turkey sausage left. The ice cream is peeking out from behind the mini pancakes. The box is so bright and cheery there may as well be a spotlight on it.