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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Boy and an Ice Cream

On his way home with Grandma on Mondays, Little Boy has to wait whilst Grandma picks up bread and milk. It so happens that there is a large and inviting chest of ice cream delights just right there and quite just so. I am told that for a good many Mondays, Little Boy has been gazing longingly at the various ice creams.

It must feel so good huh... an ice cream on a hot sweltering day? The creamy sweetness all cold and invigorating first wakes up the tongue and slides down the throat, settling gently into the stomach. Have an ice cream... and the world, with its neverending homework and irritating school exams, suddenly feels like a better place.

Anyway, ice cream is very much discouraged in our family. Little children and ice creams invariably lead to coughs, fevers and multiple trips to the doctor, not to mention disquieted nights and a whining child. The children know and understand and are generally very well-behaved in the face of an aggressive ice cream. The ice cream says "Eat me!" And my children say "No!" Often enough to make me proud.

To his credit, Little Boy bore up very well under the excruciating Monday temptations for the past 2 months. He did not ask to have one, and he did not mention his regular Monday mental tortures even when I put him to bed with a night time chat. He bore his burden stoically and alone.

But Grandma, witnessing such heroic efforts at self-control, came home and chatted with me. She represented the combined forces of Grandpa and Grandma. It was made clear to me by these old folks that my son had suffered quite enough, and that it would be cruelty of the highest order to not allow at least half an ice cream on those especially hot Mondays. And that the two old folks would not tolerate that their grandson be further denied the basic necessities of a happy childhood.

I had to agree.

So, I put Little Boy on my lap and asked him about his hidden life of terrible temptation. We revisited all the times where he had made himself ill because I had left the decision to him, and he had chosen the wrong path. Then, I explained that he might try with half an ice cream, not more than once in 2 weeks.

It was then that I realized the true extent of his longing. He gave me this look of wild eyed desperation and declared "Mom, I would rather have ONE WHOLE ice cream once a month than eat only HALF every 2 weeks". I just wasn't sure his body could process a large dose of refined sugar all at once, and I dread it when he falls ill. And I said so. Happily, Little Boy was willing to agree that half an ice cream was better than weeks of coughing.

I must say that I am so very pleased with Little Boy. He could have wheedled an ice cream from Grandma, but he didn't. When Grandma offered to buy him one, he could have accepted and not mentioned it to me... but instead, he refused saying that it would make me sad. So, our family has addressed this thorny issue lovingly, reasonably and with integrity.

Now that is something to be happy about, no?

7 comments:

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

oh how u made me laugh on a rainy monday morning! hahahahahahaha......

i've never been heroic with snacks and sweets 'cos mom is the fiery dragon guarding us from illnesses.

i had to fight all dragons, no? *WIDE GRIN*

Leah said...

Your Little Boy has great self-control and at the same time knows what full enjoyment is...precious and interesting traits I say, discipline and la joie de vivre.

petunialee said...

Oh Fry... your poor mama. To prevent damage to myself, I allow the children to do what they want sometimes and suffer the consequences. Self-preservation lah... If not, they will slay me.

petunialee said...

Leah - thank you! He is a funny little one. So earnest... tries so hard, but sometimes still manages to get into trouble... and then it's hard to scold hime because he tries so hard to be a good boy.

Blur Ting said...

Yes, he has done you proud. I've met him twice and found him to be such a delightful child to be with. You've brought him up very well!

petunialee said...

Gee... thanks Ting! That's a nice thing to tell a mommy.

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

oh yes, the games between the dragons and the younglings.

** i'd like to think we're young arthurs doing what we need to do. MUAHAHAHAHAHA. =P