My 4 year old grandson is at a stage in his young life where he eats nothing.
Whatever is offered gets a quick dismissal.
"No tanks" he says. That's not a typo.
Feeling frustrated yesterday at my inability to get him to eat
I offer him what's left of a bag of shredded cheddar cheese.
"Okay" he says.
I upend about a 1/4 cup into a tiny red bowl
and insert his favorite Sponge Bob spoon.
Heading to the living room to watch cartoons while he eats
(no judging...I'm Grandma)
I need to step over the baby gate
that separates the kitchen from the TV room.
Left leg over, no prob. Right leg......
What I do with my right leg is accidentally kick that tiny red bowl
filled with the last bit of the shredded cheese
and his Sponge Bob spoon
right outta his tiny four year old hands.
He had been climbing over the gate right behind me.
I knew this, I am aware he is close behind me
but still....I have no idea how I manage to accomplish this feat.
Cheese is everywhere.
Looks like a helluva lot more than a 1/4 cup
when it is strewn all over the floor.
And his face.....
How do I tell you what his beautiful face looks like?
Of the horror I see in his eyes?
Of his little bottom lip starting to tremble....
And I wonder what he is thinking
as he sees his "wunch" scattered across my hard wood floor.
I immediately apologize, I hug him, tell him I am so sorry.
I wonder if I can sweep it up and still serve it to him
(No judging!! I am now a very desperate Grandma)
But, no. I will not sweep it up and serve it to him.
I will sweep it up and throw it in the garbage.
I feel terrible for him and for myself if I'm being honest.
And he says to me "It's aw-right Gwanny".
Bawl! Heave! Sob!
He forgives me instantly.
He's dashing the tears from his eyes with his little fists
all the while reassuring me that it's alright.
"It's aw-right Gwanny...it's aw-right".
I'm stunned for a moment. Immovable.
Love for this kid pouring out of my every pore.
Get your boots and coat on Sweetie, I tell him.
We're going to the store to buy some more cheese.
We are? he says as his face lights up with anticipated delight.
Yes, sweetie, we are.
At the store I let him pick out and then carry
the biggest bag of shredded cheese
to the cash register.
On our way to checkout we pass the bakery section.
We pause to peruse the selections.
His nose is pressed up against the glass case.
He sees butter cookies with chocolate sprinkles.
I tell the woman behind the counter I'll take 4.
4 of them.
For no other reason than I am still trying to apologize, I pick out a half dozen more;
one of each color.
Red, pink, green, blue, yellow, multi colored.
He gets to carry this tiny bakery box too.
The cashier puts both into a plastic grocery sack
and hands it to him.
He skips back out to the car.
He's happy. I'm happy.
He's happy. I'm relieved.
He's happy. I can forgive myself.
At home again, he opens the bakery box, turns to me and says:
"Gwanny? Where's my cookies?"
Whaddya mean? They're right here I say as I point to
the chocolate sprinkled butter cookies.
"I didn't want these ones...I wanted the other ones".
What other ones??
Those are the ones you wanted I tell him.
"No they aren't, I wanted the other ones" he repeats back to me.
I have no clue which ones he's talking about.
The cookies I bought are the ones I thought he was staring at!
The cookies I bought are the ones I KNOW he was staring at!!
Try it I say. They're good. Take one bite.
He takes one little-tiny-barely-able-to-tell-he's-taken-a-bite-nibble
and declares them icky.
Tsk. Well shit.
So, here we are.
Him eating a red bowl of shredded cheese.
Me eating chocolate sprinkled butter cookies.
He gets to eat the cheese and I get to eat the cookies.
We both get to be forgiven for the errors of our ways.
And it ends up being 'aw-right' after all.