Saturday, September 20, 2008

Moms = 1; Ungrateful Children = 0

Here’s a story for every mom who drew the line.

A few years ago, my daughter was involved in a show. It was truly an extravaganza that took hours to set-up and perform. Because we must be there for such an extraordinary amount of time before the show, we the mothers wanted to feed our girls to prevent pre-show breakdowns and scorn from other mothers who’ve noticed that we don’t feed our kids. But the girls are all excited and running around with their sparkly blue make-up and hair buns. They’re making up games to play and sneaking around to avoid parents. They don’t want to stop and take a bite of anything that remotely resembles something possibly a little bit healthy. But we try, bless our little mommy hearts, we try.

One mom walked past me with a plate. On this plate were two warm cheesy pieces of pizza. I admonished her for not bringing enough for everyone, because that’s just rude to stomp around with a plate of warm cheesy pizza in front of me. As I love, love, love pizza because I never, ever get it.

Ever-so-sweetly she offered this plate of love to her daughter who was darting past her with her gang of other little girls. Stopped in her tracks, her daughter looked at her like she had a hairball hanging out of her nose and said “I hate pizza” and tried to scoot out of there to catch-up with the gang. Mom and daughter lovingly discussed the pros and cons of eating some nourishment before the show. It went something like “Look, if you don’t eat this pizza now, you’re going to be hungry later and don’t come crying to me!” The daughter scoffed at such a ridiculous prediction and rejected the love-on-a-plate.

This has been the threat handed down for generations. We all heard it as kids and we’ve all said it as parents. Yet we mostly just give in later and buy them a bag a chips just so they’ll stop that incessant whining campaign. After we’ve slaved and saved and microwaved our brains out just to bring them something warm and yummy. They don’t care because children are completely ungrateful and don’t deserve us most of the time. There’s always a piece of something that looks weird or it's touching something else so they refuse it. They reject us, as parents and caretakers. We are thrown out of the car on the freeway of life. Tumbling to the side of the road and they don’t care.

Later that evening, I’m in the changing tent and I hear the little pizza hater say to her friend “Can I have a piece, I’m starving.” Her tone was both pleading and pathetic. The other little girl says flatly “no” and I look over to see what she is asking for and that’s when it happened. Karma! The Girl was asking for a piece of … Pizza!

So poetic was this moment that it had to be reported secretly to the mother. The threat paid off and she lived through it. If the mom had been standing there, I’m sure the little girl would have never admitted her hunger nor her desire for a piece of pizza. But I was the spy and the informant and I couldn’t wait to tell Mom that it was a complete success.

We Won! The Moms Won. It wasn’t just a win for her; it was a win for all mothers everywhere. So, I’m dedicating this post to her, for her perseverance and mostly because she let me eat her daughter’s pizza.


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