“Cookie Conundrum,” by QACP Parent, Nidhi Kirpal Jayadevan

I’m famished, but I need to get out of the house. It’s my only window of opportunity to get some errands out of the way!

I buckle up my toddler in his car seat, and as soon as I’m all set to zoom, what do I see? A gigantic sugar cookie lying carelessly and enticingly on the passenger seat. Clearly, it’s a sign!

The lone cookie was from that time many days ago, when I had bought a bunch for something, I can’t even remember. Whatever! I start munching. It felt good. SINFULLY good!!

And here comes the downer. My son wants in too, and I don’t want to give in! For one, the cookie is MINE, and second, no cookies for my toddler!

So, I do, what only a responsible momma would. No, I don’t give up the cookie. I say, “It’s mama’s snack.” It’s not a lie at all. Of course, my son believes me. There’s no doubt it is MY snack, given how I’m devouring it with the utmost joy! But he still wants some – “Cookie! want some.”

That’s when I resort to Plan-B. It’s one of throwing out words and phrases that are open to reiteration, discussion and interpretation. “Cookie? It’s actually mama’s snack.” At this point, he gives me the ‘I understand what you’re saying’ look, and also, looks a bit confused – why can’t you share it with me? Isn’t that what you’re always telling me to do???

As a parent, we all have a special gift. The gift of reading our kids’ minds. And believe me when I say this: I really wished I didn’t have this ‘gift’. So, what do I do? I literally gulp down the enormous cookie, in about a second, and start a loquacious and animated conversation about our Oh! so exciting trip to the grocery store.

He buys it all, forgets about the cookie that was so skillfully denied to him, and both mama and baby happily stroll down the multiple aisles of produce and dairy. I kid you not! A sugar high most definitely sweetens the mundane in a most delightful way!

I learned something that day. I got an insight into the mind of a toddler through this weird role-reversal episode. With this new sensibility, I hope to be a little more empathetic to my toddler’s frequent propensity of genuinely not wanting to share!

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