Thursday, June 11, 2009

Love, Lies and Lollipops

We'd been in the doctor's waiting area for a matter of seconds when the Jar of Temptation was discovered: a glass canister filled to the brim with lollipops. 

"Can we have one, Mommy?"

"Yeah, can we?"

I paused. "Well, I was planning to go for ice cream after this."

"Mmm, ice cream," said one daughter, licking her lips.

The other dove for the jar. "I don't want ice cream. I want a lolly." 

A half hour later my appointment was over and so was the sweet. "Let's go for ice cream," I said. 

One child bounded for the door while the other sulked and shuffled her feet.

"Mommy, I didn't have a sweet after lunch. Can I still have an ice cream?" the sulker asked, hopeful.  In our family a sweet after lunch is as natural as breathing.  I could follow the sulker's logic to it's conclusion: the lolly was her after-lunch sweet therefore she still qualified for an ice cream.

Bullets of rage flew from the bounders eyes. "Yes, you did have a sweet! I saw you.  It was a chocolate ball."

"No I didn't!"

"Yes, you did," screeched the bounder.  "Mommy, she's lying!"

I hadn't been home at lunch but was tempted to believe the bounder.   "I suppose I could ask Lateeka if you had dessert."

"I didn't and neither of you believe me."

Ouch. She'd played the trust card. 

"I want to believe you, sweetie, but I also know how much you want an ice cream. Let's go," I said and walked to the car. 

We were pulling into the Dairy Queen drive-thru when the bounder asked, "So, are you going to call Lateeka, Mommy?"  The sulker was quiet, but listening. 

"I'm not sure," I said meeting the sulker's gaze in my rear-view mirror.

Suddenly a voice squawked, "Welcome to Dairy Queen. What can I get for you today?"

I turned around and looked the sulker in the eye. "Vanilla cone or a dip."


"Dip," echoed the bounder.

"Two small vanilla dips and a small vanilla cone, please."

We were half way home when I noticed the sulker was not eating her ice cream. Only a small bite was taken off the top. The rest was sweating profusely.  I've never liked dips.

"Don't you like it?" I asked.

"No," she said.

At home she threw the cone in the trash. 

 "Are you still going to call Lateeka, Mommy?"

"I don't think I should have to.  Come. Let's go talk, just you and me."

Once alone in my room the truth trickled out along with a bucket of tears: "I think... I think I may have forgotten that I did have a sweet after lunch, Mommy." 

"You think?" I said, hugging her close.


"Did you really not like the ice cream?"

"I liked it, but I didn't want to get in trouble."


"I'm sorry, Mommy."

"I'm proud."

1 comment:

  1. Good golly, I can guarantee with my kiddo any trouble would definitely have been worth it. That is scary honesty!