I foolishly set expectations high this morning when I declared there would be “a special treat”. It is, after all Treat Day. In my coy attempt to conjure ideas, I asked, “What do you think it will be?”
Beluga: I want it to be chocolate!
Me: You always want chocolate.
There’s been some argument recently about when the treats should actually be. We have three official treat days: Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. 3pm. That leaves Monday and Tuesday for the kids’ taste buds to recuperate. And truly, by Tuesday, they eat more vegetables. (Because isn’t vegetable consumption the gold standard by which we mums judge ourselves?)
Beluga: Mommy, I want a treat!
Me: Is it Treat Day? (End of conversation.)
Last Thursday, Mingus requested a special compensation – to get a treat for breakfast, at Le Pain Quotidien. We made a very special plan to walk Daddy to work, across the park, and stop off for gauffres before hitting the playground sprinklers. It was lovely, though I did note that Mingus woke at 5:45, so eager was he to eat his gauffre. Less lovely was the bickering come Sunday. It started before they even took their first bite of lunch:
Beluga: I want a treat!
Me: It’s not treat time.
Beluga: What if I eat all my lunch?
Me: Hmmm. (I too am lusting after ice cream bars in the freezer)
Mingus: (looking suspiciously at his plate) What if I eat just the bell peppers?
I put up a good fight. In the end, it was a weak moment. And in my defense, I am pregnant (yes, pregnant!) and after three steak tacos, I was still ravenous. Hagen Dazs 1: Dr. Weiss 0
Monday and Tuesday I held firm (with them). I won’t forget that time the Mathematician came home after bedtime, and opened the freezer. The sound of the sliding drawer awoke dear Beluga; he dashed into the kitchen, “It’s not Treat Day! May I have some?” And so when I sneaked ice cream Monday night, I made extra sure – nudge-them-sure – that both boys were in a deep slumber.
After waiting two whole days, the Wednesday treat is the most important one of the week. So, back to that question, “What do you think the treat will be?”
Mingus: I definitely want ice cream.
Fast forward a few hours, they come home from romping at Grandma’s and I have a cream base rolling on the stove.
We mix in a few extra ingredients, pop it in the fridge (build some Lego vehicles, race them) whir a few more ingredients into the cooled cream… and Beluga pours it all into the magic ice cream machine.
Followed by taste tests, of course.
And the kid-driven decision to add maple syrup.
Patience is required to load brand new ice cream into pop forms, place them into the freezer, and then have full knowledge ice cream is sitting in the freezer uneaten for hours. The joy of pulling the pops out of their forms inspires a happy dance throughout the apartment – leaps, racing, squeals of joy. Yippppeeeee! Ice CReeeeaaammmm!!!
Shake, shake, shunk, phffff. Sprinkles coat a sheet of parchment paper.
And then, there is silence. Many minutes of silent, absorbed, satisfied eating.
Peacefulness has taken over the kitchen, but I’m thinking ahead, “If only there were night-time housekeepers.” Mingus tosses his pop stick in the trash, lowers his mouth to the floor and begins hoovering up the spilled sprinkles. Five second rule… (um, five minute rule…) I let it go and embrace the newly clean floor. A child’s gift to his mother.