Topic of the day? Cringeworthy. Where does one begin when writing about things that make you cringe without getting paralysed by retroactive shame?
This evening I came home from work with a container of cupcakes, left over from a little celebration at work for my continuing commitment to aging. I showed them to Gabriel, which was a big mistake.
He fixated on them and was desperate to eat them, and refused to eat dinner. He does not understand the concept of "before" and "after", and didn't get that he would be given a precious cupcake as soon as he finished his supper.
So Kiff and i put on a play.
"Mommy!" said Kiff. "I want cupcakes!"
I answered, in my best June Cleaver voice: "No, silly! Cupcakes are dessert! First you need to eat dinner, THEN you eat cupcakes."
"But I want cupcakes NOW!" said Chris, stomping his foot for effect.
"Not yet, honey!" I answered firmly, "Cupcakes are for dessert. FIRST we eat dinner, THEN we eat dessert."
"Oh, I get it. So FIRST I get to eat dinner, THEN I get to eat cupcakes?"
"That's right!" I chirped, hand on hip.
Gabriel followed all of this raptly. He shook his finger at Kiff and said "No daddy. First we eat dinner, then the cupcakes!"
And he did both! I'll bet you hippies out there are mocking the way I drove home this order of eating, but trust me: You need to know what the box is before you can define yourself outside it.
Had anyone walked into our little play, I would have been mortified. In fact, it kind of makes me cringe to write it. But I can assure you it is NOTHING close to the stories that truly make me cringe. Ah well. What's parenting if not surrendering to indignities of all varieties.