It was a Saturday afternoon. I had just settled my toddler into her high chair with her lunch, and figured I had about 12 minutes to wolf down the soup I had just reheated. I was about to ask my six year old what she wanted for lunch, when she breezed by me and said, “Hey Mommy! Remember the hotel we’re staying at?” (We were not at a hotel. This is part of a cringe-inducing imaginative game that is apparently ongoing and neverending.) “Mmm-hmm,” I begrudgingly acknowledged. “They’re having a special Valentine’s Day meal today! Can we go? It’s happening right now!” she said excitedly. I mentally kicked myself in the un-fun ass and brightly chirped, “Of course we can go!”
As I raised my spoon to my lips to begin the now 11-minute shovel, Izzy interrupted with, “No Mommy, you can’t eat yet! I have to write the menu first.”
Dammit. This could take forever. By the time she was finished setting the table and writing out three menus (because God knows each of us needed one, lest we suddenly become environmentally conscious and share a single menu) Sophie would have lost interest in her lunch, and I would be doomed. Not to mention my soup would surely be tepid.
I took a deep breath and forced myself to be patient. “Should I open that bottle of wine on the counter?” I muttered jokingly to my husband. After what seemed like an excruciating duration, Izzy finished writing our menus, and graciously allowed us to accompany her into the foyer, where she had moved a table to serve as a hostess podium.
“Hello there, how many of you will there be today?” she inquired politely, handing us our menus. Once we were seated, she took our drink order. My precious food-scarfing time was quickly slipping through my fingers, as Sophie was beginning to squirm in her highchair. “I’ll have a water, please!” I said with forced patience. “Did you notice? We also have wine!” she announced proudly.
I felt that heartbreaking moment where one realizes the amount of thought their sweet, well-intentioned child has put into the game, and I felt a surge of love and willingness sweep over me. Plus, I wanted a glass of wine.
“I would love some wine!” I agreed happily. As she took our order, I felt consumed by giggles, and my husband and I began to snicker while she busied herself in the kitchen. She turned to us. “Stop laughing!” she said accusingly, and I felt instantly remorseful.
“Oh, honey, it’s not funny, I’m just so proud of you! You always do the nicest things to make us feel special!” I said truthfully, giving her a hug.
As we began to eat our lukewarm soup and unappealingly cold sweet potato fries, her motive became clear. “Can we have dessert? It’s on the menu!” she pointed out slyly.
Another loophole! This child is equal parts loving and conniving. When will we ever wise up? I still find myself unable to rain on her metaphorical or literal parade by putting my foot down and denying her the dessert that was clearly on the menu.
Once again, Mommy and Daddy were outsmarted, and Izzy enjoyed her ice cream. Well, what the hell, at least I got a glass of wine with my lunch. After all, it was on the menu.
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Dude. This might be my favorite post ever. Brilliant! Oh and I love how you had to kick yourself in the “un-fun ass.” HA. My ass is un-fun, too.
And seriously, you were doing her a favor by having the wine. Awesome. Sounds like the perfect pre-trip fancy menu-lunch. For real.
OMG, Izzy is so smart and crafty. Love her! I love the menu – that is so cute! And I voted for you, of course. So glad for you that this contest is coming to an end. I’m sure everyone will be happy when it’s over. Everyone. 🙂
Awwww mlike AND wine?! A girl after my own heart 🙂 I remember the first time my son recognized a bottle of Blue Moon; I didn’t know whether to be proud or worried 🙂
I loved this and could honestly picture my girls doing something like this when they are just a bit older. And as for the dessert, she did get you, but oh how sweetly she did it!! 🙂
Stephanie, I think I’ve figured out Izzy’s secret. She has discovered your diaries, and after reading them, she reenacts your life as a young child! I always loved hearing stories about your shenanigans from your mom (Chris, my BFF!).
You are so right! Anne made a similar comment…I am so honored to have you both reading my posts!
Aww, so sweet and I just love the picture of that menu. I think you depicted a parent perfectly, who just wants to eat her lunch in peace before it gets cold but who is simultaneously having her heartstrings tugged by a child who wants to play pretend-games. Of course your child was particularly brilliant and for that you should be proud, even if you did eat cold soup. At least you got some wine out of it! 🙂
The photo of the menu is FABULOUS!!!! I don’t think she was tricky at all- I think she knew what Mommy needed.
Too cute! I can’t wait for this stuff, although I’m sure I will miss the simplicity of this once that stage arrives!
Yes toddler play is about as easy as it gets!
You know, I think your daughter and me are similar. I remember doing the exact same thing to my mom!
Heck, if it was on the menu, drink up! 😉 Sweet story and she sounds like a sweet little girl. A perfect hotel lunch date.
This is the sweetest post ever!!! I too would love a dusit of icecream now!!
I fear it won’t be long until your daughter is blogging about family life. I see her in a college dorm, typing madly, as she slurps her wine milkshake! lol Great post!
Love this!! totally relate to it. I have a 6 year old too and love it when she walks out of her room wearing my heals and has me sit and watch her perform.
I love how she managed to slip in the dessert loophole. SMART GIRL!!
But the fact that she was able to offer you wine at noon…FANTASTIC!!
I love the way you write about her imagination games. It’s just adorable.
I think I would have ordered ice cream and french fries.
Why didn’t you just say, “No, I don’t remember any goddamn hotel.” End of game.
Next time I will know better. Wait, I say that all the time.
What a clever little girl! And so much fun…. as if an excuse was needed for daytime wine, she provided it beautifully. Even if it was only to get her ice cream. This girl is going places, you better hang on! Awesome post, thanks for hooking up with me 🙂