Last night our friend Laura brought an enormous dessert tray of Hostess treats to our bible study group. Twinkies….Ding Dongs…..Ho Hos….Powdered Donettes….pure junk food to the max! Man did it bring back memories of my childhood. I remember how much I looooooooooved the treat of getting to eat a twinkie or ding dong. Oh and zingers- wow, now those were pure heaven as a kid! Peeling off the top layer of frosting, eating the cake and then ending with that whole frosting delight. Oh man. Good memories.
So I saved a couple of delightful desserts to treat my kids to a surprise this week.
This morning as I was packing up Jacob’s lunch, I asked him if he’d like a fun treat of either a Twinkie or Ding Dong. He didn’t know what they were so I tried to describe the flavor as best I could. He chose a twinkie. So I packed it in along with his pb & j sandwich, a ziploc bag full of sliced cucumber and a container full of cut up kiwi. I wrote him a note, as I always do. It said: “Buddy, I hope you are having a fun rainy day at school. I’m excited to hear what you think about the twinkie. Love, Mama :)”
This afternoon as we drove home after his day at school, I asked: “So Jacob what did you think of the twinkie?” “Mama, I didn’t try it yet. ” “No? Really? Any particular reason why Buddy?” “Yes, mama. It’s because I still have 3 slices of cucumber left.”
And that’s when my heart swelled with pride. An unexplainable joy and a deep, deep respect for my 6-year old son filled my thoughts. I imagined him with ironclad will power, holding off on trying a delectable, new dessert because he has fully internalized the message that dessert only happens if you’ve first eaten all of your growing food. He’s a rule follower. Our family’s rule is no dessert until your plate is empty. And today his baggie was not empty- it still had 3 slices of cucumber left. And yet he could have thrown that rule out the window, considering he was at school, not at home and not in the clutches of his parents who would have held him to that rule. And yet today he made that self-controlled and great decision all by himself, out of our presence and influence. I am one proud mama today.
At home tonight he asked if he could trade his twinkie for the ding dong. Yes, Buddy, yes.
And so tonight he tried a ding dong for the first time. It was sweet to see how he ate it. He took little nibbles on the hard, chocolatey crusty coating, all the way around its perimeter….round and round he went. Then ate all the chocolatey cake, round and round. And finally was left with the frosting core.