Sunday, 22 June 2014

Week 143- lollies, limping and Keyser Soze...

My daughter can smell out junk food in the same way that babies can allegedly smell their mother’s milk up to 20 feet away.

You only have to rustle a Snickers wrapper in your bag, and she’s asking, ‘mummy what’s that?’

I think I’ve brought this on myself.
It started with a bit of harmless bribery to get us all out of the house. ‘If you put your shoes on, we’ll see about getting you a treat when we’re out.’

But I was clever enough to be non-specific about the ‘treat.’

We’d get to the park and she’d ask me what she’d be getting and I’d wing in, telling her the act of going to the park was the treat. Or a carton of juice. Or a banana.

But she’s not a total idiot.

I couldn’t keep on passing off the stuff she was going to be getting anyway as a treat for long before she wised up to it.

And soon we were back to square one, with me attempting to negotiate her out the house while having an eight-week-old strapped to my front like a fat suit.

So I had to raise my game.

I realised the trick was hold a couple of cards back, don’t give the game away entirely.

 You can offer chocolate. Just don’t say what kind so you can then present a titchy bit without not being true to your word.

Or crisps that turn out to be the ones from the healthfood shop and are virtually air.

Or a lolly that’s made out of 100% juice so it’s just a drink really.

I thought I’d got it nailed, until the other day it dawned on me that she’d been playing me at my own game.

That she’d become a bit of an expert at manipulation, and I hadn’t even seen it was happening right under my nose.

We were in the park. It was hot. She hadn’t had a nap and I was feeling more than a bit ratty.

As my daughter ran round the park she inevitably fell over, being all knackered and disorientated. It wasn’t a nasty fall. Just a tumble. But still. She said she’d hurt her leg, and started limping. I checked and it didn’t look like she’d done any damage, but then she asked, ‘can I have a treat for being brave?’

I faltered. She could see the weakness. And she was limping.

And then a friend who was also in the park with her children called over that she’d been to Aldi and bought lollies for all the children and did my daughter want one?

She heard the magic words and I watched as started first to limp over to her, and then slowly she broke into a fast trot, finally breaking into an arm-waving sprint.

No sight of an injury.

I was watching Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects.

She’d totally played me. And the little girl with the total inability to fib?

As Kevin Spacey would say, ‘like that, she was gone.’ 

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