No broccoli, no ice cream!

We seem to have hit another phase of parenting: the battle of the wills.

Yesterday evening our plan was to get together with some friends and walk down to an ice cream shop together. But, as we were wrapping up dinner and getting ready to go, Lila refused to eat her broccoli. It was just one really little piece. I even cut the stem short for her. She wouldn’t eat it.

“Lila, you have to eat that broccoli before you can have any ice cream.” We had made the fateful step. You can’t take something like that back.

To make a long story short, a solid hour later we had met up with our friends and walked to the ice cream shop, and Lila still had a wet piece of broccoli in her mouth.

“Swallow your broccoli, honey,” had become a mantra. “Eat your broccoli or you can’t have any ice cream.”

Lila was taking it quite well. Every so often she would point at someone else’s dessert, and we would answer with our mantra. She would then look around, unphazed. She danced, looked at birds, and played with Josh, the young son a couple we were with.

On the walk back, she rode on my shoulders and sang her own version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” through her mouth full of broccoli.

Finally she showed us her empty mouth when I took her down from my shoulders. We cheered that she had eaten the broccoli. I hoped she would forget about the ice cream.

When we were getting ready to get back in the van, she said to me quietly, “May I have ice cream, please?” Very polite, like we had taught her.

I kneeled down and looked into her eyes. “Honey, it’s too late for ice cream. If you had finished your broccoli at the ice cream shop, you could have had some. We are not there anymore, so it is too late to get ice cream, okay”

“Okay daddy.” Her eyes started to get a little watery. I could see that was trying not be upset. I pulled her into a hug.

“I’m sad that you can’t have ice cream.”

I was told to relax

So Chey, Lila, and I were cleaning up our house this morning. Lila, about 2.5 years old, walked up to me and held up her pointer finger. It had a grey smudge on it.

“Looks like you got a little dirty,” I said to her.

“Yeah,” she said, and started to wipe her finger off on my shirt. She then decided to wipe off the dirt on her nearby blanket.

“Did you just wipe your dirty finger on my shirt, Lila?” I feigned affront.

“NO! On my blanket! Relax Dad.”

“Go kitchen. Cook food.” Lila,

“Go kitchen. Cook food.”
Lila, my two-year old daughter, and I were sitting on our couch a couple evenings ago while Chey was out.

Lila, tired from playing, rested her head down on a stack of clean clothes and pointed to a blanket. I tucked her into the blanket.

“My sleeping,” she said.

Then she pointed to the kitchen and directed me, “Go kitchen. Cook food.”

The power went off in

The power went off in our house a couple nights ago. It went off at midnight; our alarm system let us know.

Lila, our daughter woke to the noise, and, as her nightlight was not lit, she wasn’t likely to go back to sleep. So, we brought her into our bed, thinking that she may be comforted and go back to sleep.

How wrong we were. For two hours Chey and I wearily endured little fingers in our ears, pajama feet shoved into our necks, flailing arms, and her little voice whispering to us, “Mommy sleeping, Daddy,” and, “Daddy sleeping, Mommy,” and, “My sleeping too.”

Which neither of us bought for a second.

At times she actually did lie down and rest. But just for a couple minutes at a time.

Honestly, not to be such a complaining parent, I enjoyed it a bit, laughing at our situation and appreciating our daughter.

At 2 a.m. the power came back on and she went back to her room to sleep. Though she was back up at 7, unphased.