Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Best Policy

"Honesty is hardly ever heard and mostly what I need from you." -Billy Joel

I said I was done talking about Hurricane Irene after my post from Monday. I lied. (Kind of.)

On Saturday night, I cooked a nice meal for me, the Peanut, and the friends that were hunkered down with us. I made a pot of gravy with ravioli and orecchiette, chicken cutlets, and a nice salad. If we were going to lose power for any extended period of time, I wanted to make sure we were well fed.

The Peanut was fine during dinner, but she didn't eat enough to earn dessert. She ate all of her pasta, one piece of her salad, and none of her meatball or chicken cutlet.

Regardless, she posed the inevitable question she asks nightly, "Daddy, may I have dessert?" I told her no. She didn't eat enough of her salad or her meatball. And she would have to if she wanted dessert.

She is at the age where she understands consequences now. And sometimes she accepts them. So she said, "Then I don't want dessert."


Under the circumstances (solo parenting, with company, a huge storm about to hit), I wasn't about to fight her over a few pieces of lettuce.

My friend and I sat there polishing off the rest of the chicken cutlets. Who are we to let them go to waste if God forbid the power goes out? While doing so, his wife was busting out a package of Milano cookies they had brought. (Incidentally, when buying food for a hurricane, it appears most of it winds up being processed, boxed, and/or bagged.)

She offered one to the Peanut. To which my daughter, who continues to amaze me, replied, "No, my daddy said I couldn't have dessert, remember?"

I loved her so much in that moment. This little pain int he a$$ who fights me almost nightly because I make her eat what we eat . Who has to negotiate every single bite. Who asks for dessert just moments after we sit down for dinner.

I got out of my chair, knelt down to hug her and rewarded her for her honesty with a Milano cookie. Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Just when you think the stress of the routine, the anxiety of the coming hurricane, and the neuroses of parenting on your own have involuntarily made you a bad parent, your child will shove a little honesty in your face.

Maybe we're doing something right after all. What that is, I have no idea.

If you missed my full Irene post, click here to read it. Now I'm done with Irene posts... maybe.


  1. Isn't it great - those moments of true amazement?! It just goes to show that we are good parents - despite how poorly our parents set us up for parenthood :) Good job dad!


  2. I still don't know what - if anything - I did!

  3. Definitely deserves a Milano. And good for you for having her eat what you eat. I prepare three different meals every time. Meat for hubby, vegetarian for me, something in between for the kids. We're nutso over here.

  4. Truly amazing, i wished my boys were as honest, they are at this stage where they ask me for something to which i will deny them and they run to there mum and ask the same question.

    Tricky little monsters, nice to see the peanut doing the honest thing though, well done to her. She well deserved that cookie.


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