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Friday, December 19, 2008

Tree Huggers, it's a gift

Slurping Life

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Timing is crucial.

I wait until two people stand on the roof to chop down the Christmas tree, one person plays ‘electronics’ and one spins his wheels. I grab the spinner to explain our schedule and specifically, how we shall occupy the next hour. We shall spend the next hour making candy as a gift for other members of the family, "a gift," our first.

I say a silent prayer that no-one falls off the roof during the next hour, or that if they do fall off the roof, that they won’t fall past the kitchen window, as that kind of distraction would be very off-putting.

My son is unconvinced that the project is doable, or preferable, or possible to complete in under 60 minutes. I share his dubious approach on the inside. I project optimism on the outside. I have selected a recipe for each child, what I hope is a good fit. Whilst it would be preferable for them to each to make their own choice, the ‘choice’ step could fill the entire hour and still not reach a conclusion. So I have chosen for them, a step that I view as dictatorship, although hopefully benign.

“Whada we doin again?” he enquires with huge dark eyes of confusion.
“We’re going to make chocolate fudge. It’s going to be delicious.”
“Er…….whya we doing it again?”
“It will make presents that you can wrap up and give to everyone in the family.”
“But why?”
“To make them happy. To show that you love them by giving them something they will like.”
“Er…..will dey like em?”
“Absolutely guaranteed. You like chocolate fudge don’t you? Everyone like’s chocolate fudge and they’ll like it all the more because you made if for them. Now…….how about we start by reading the recipe together?” He pauses, again. At this rate it will be a miracle if we ever manage task completion within the next 56 minutes. He rests his head on the kitchen counter as I list what I hope are mouth watering ingredients, but he’s off with the fairies and pays no heed to my words.
“Yes dear?” Please lets make a start. Please don’t let us get off track again? Where is the track anyway?
“You are be tell a lie.”
“I am? I did? What did I lie about?”
“You said…….everyone is be liking my present.”
“That’s right. Absolutely right. They’re going to just love it.”
But me no buts! I hear the tick tock time slipping away.
“But what dear?”
“What about me?”
“You……..hate chocolate.”

They always get me on the details.

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