Friday, July 31, 2009

Cookie Monster

My toddler prefers to make her needs known by silence rather than speaking. She remains an enigma amongst my children. Last night, my oldest took it upon himself to boost her vocabulary. He had a plan. After dinner, he produced a box of chocolate coated dunker cookies from Trader Joe’s. Now these cookies are the favorite of every child in my family, including the sphinx herself.

He opened the box. He took out one cookie, showed it to her from all angles. “See this cookie?” he asked. She glared through almost shut eyes and put her thumb up to her pouty lips, pretending not to notice. “This is a cookie.” He explained. “If you want a cookie, you must say cookie please.” He then ate the cookie with great relish, savoring each bite and talking about how this excellent experience of chocolate crunchy goodness could be hers if only she would say the magic words.

She did not even look.

Upping the ante, my son summoned each of his other siblings and proceeded to dole out the dessert for each child that seal-like, smiled and said “Cookie please.” Some came back for seconds and thirds. She stared. Then she turned her head and shut her eyes.

After the others scattered to their rooms/baths, the teenager and the toddler regarded one another in silence for a while. I cleared the table. I heard occasional attempts to restart the lesson. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I heard him try to dart the cookie just out of range. I vacuumed the kitchen and wiped the counters. My son came into the kitchen and put the remaining dunkers in the freezer. “I’m sorry Mom.” He said. I patted his shoulder. “These things take time.” I explained. He nodded and walked dejectedly upstairs. “I let her out of her high chair.” He called back. I went to check.

Now my youngest son is nine months old and loves his baby saucer, so I had him sitting in that for a bit of exercise while I worked. I expected my daughter to come play with my baby son as he is her favorite toy. She wasn’t there. I called for her. No answer. I began looking.

My main floor is an open circle of rooms such that I managed to just miss her as she scootled around the stairway, but I then heard a second set of feet. And I know, her partner in all things, her next older sibling sister is on the case. Exactly opposite of the Sphinx, the loquacious Pixie doll always knows what her younger sister wants and how to get it.

Within five minutes of having been released from the Teen Boot Camp Cookie Drills, my little girls both had acquired chocolate coated dunkers without the obligatory phrase. They had eaten a bit on the run to make sure no one caught them before they got a bite. Following the crumbs, I found the Sphinx brandishing her cookie in a fat fist, waving it at the baby and saying, “Look Paul, it’s a cookie.”

My teen heard it from upstairs. “That’s my work! I should be getting the credit.”

“Eyes on the prize son, she’s talking.”

The Sphinx turned and ran over to the stairs, raised the cookie in triumph and said absolutely nothing.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

you'd better watch out for that girl!

she's gonna be TROUBLE!


and she's never allowed to be alone with my girl.

we wouldn't survive the pair....haha

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