Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Apple Made Me Do It
Apples have been making people do shameful things for thousands of years and yesterday was no exception. Its Fall in the Midwest and the Honey Crisp apples are back in the stores again. Oh sweet fruit of the tree that makes my knees weak and edges out every other treat I crave for most of the Fall. Oh crispy orb of perfect goodness that has never failed me once. Oh ready sphere that commands my attention in the aisle and causes me to forget about price. Have I gone on too long? If you think so, then you have clearly never had a Honey Crisp apple. There are lots of good apples out there but this variety is as close to perfection as engineered produce can be.
The backstory is, my littlest one is not a huge fan of apples. Yes, I cut them into appropriately sized nibbles. Yes, I offer different varieties. And yes, I've done baked, dried, nuked and sauced. She is not a fan. She licks them, touches them all over, drops them on the dog-haired kitchen floor and ultimately ends up wasting them. WASTING THEM.
So here's how the fruit iniquity was committed by the mother. In the middle of the afternoon yesterday, I sat down with my Honey Crisp. Sliced and cored with precision so as not to waste one tiny portion, I bit into my first section. Over toddles the little one, mouth popping open and closed like a malnourished trout voicing her "ngh, ngh" which means "Give me some of whatever you have or I will screech." Ordinarily I would accommodate a request for a bite of my snack. But not today. Not this snack. Not my Honey Crisp. The unholy sounds that came out of this child were almost enough to make me forget what I knew about her licking apples and tossing them to the dogs or taking tiny bites and spitting the chunky mess into the palm of my hand. I offered her another snack: a peach, grapes, Goldfish, dried bananas? This didn't help the screeching and pushed her to the next level of distress which included great , big, rolling crocodile tears. Pathetic. The whole thing was pathetic. But I was not swayed.
Give her the apple because she is my baby, and I love her, and she's screaming? That's just ridiculous! Would you a kid Godiva chocolate for dessert when they are thrilled to get one M&M? You wouldn't! Or, at least, I wouldn't, and there you have it. I deny my children some of the good stuff because I know they won't appreciate it. It's not that I think they're not worthy, of course they are, they are my flesh and blood. I just think if you make a kids wait for some things until they can appreciate how great they are, or how funny they are, or how delicious they are, you are teaching a big lesson.
So back to the crocodile tears. I'm not proud of my behavior, but I'm also not ashamed. This time it was an apple, but next time it might be an amusement park ride or a PG movie. Its ok to make them wait for things. They'll get there and I'll be there riding the rides, enjoying the movies and yes, serving the Honey Crisp apples.