At the end of every meal in the Sharp household pleas for dessert began in earnest.
We don’t do dessert every night; we don’t even do it most nights, but that isn’t because the kids don’t ask.
One night a while back I decided that it had been a while since we had dessert, so I told the kids they could have something sweet if they ate their supper well. The definition of “well” varies from kid to kid depending on their age. I didn’t expect the Fashionista, who was 2 years old at the time, to eat as much as her older siblings. I just expected every kid to get a well-rounded, balanced meal, or at the very least to put more food in their mouth than on the floor. This is usually an unmet expectation.
On this particular night the Zoologist and the Ballerina, who were 6 and 4, made quick work of their meals and moved on to their dessert. (The Ballerina had an aversion to the cup I gave her juice in, but that is a different story). The Fashionista apparently did not like the pigs in a blanket. I deduced this because she kept putting the little sausages in her mouth, chewing them for a while, spitting them out, and saying, “I don’ like it.” I am something of a deductive reasoning savant.
I told her that before I would give her dessert, she had to take a bite of a sausage. Surprisingly, she immediately picked one up and took a bite. Compliant isn’t usually the Fashionista’s usual mode of operation, but after a quickly thinking, “I wonder what is up with that?” I moved on to getting her dessert. When you are the father of four small humans you don’t always have the time to ponder and puzzle out strange behavior. If someone isn’t actively burning down the house, you generally have more pressing matters to attend to.
I got the Fashionista some dessert and put it down on her plate. She looked up at me, said “Tank You,” took the bite of sausage out of her mouth, and began inhaling her dessert. I started to say something, but I remembered that technically I said, “Take a bite,” I didn’t specifically articulate that she had to swallow the bite. Score one for the Fashionista. For neither the first nor the last time, I was gamed by a 2 year old.