PASSING BAD HABITS TO A TODDLER

On Saturday night, I had the privilege of watching the big game at Dave and Abigail’s house. They were kind enough to let me in their house even though they had just brought their newest daughter, Sophie, home and already have their hands full with a precocious toddler named Lucy.

Not wanting to arrive empty-handed, I stopped off to bring some goodies with me. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I didn’t have the opportunity to get the most appropriate items. I had to make do with a visit to 7-11. Arriving at the house, I sheepishly showed Dave what I brought. He told me I’d better hide it until after dinner as he was sure Lucy would want to eat these things right away.

Dinner turned out to be pizza for the grownups. Sophie had some milk. Lucy was going to share the pizza with us but she also had to eat her carrots and red peppers. I got the pleasure of cutting up a slice of pizza for Lucy. I was told to cut the pieces in the shape of mini-slices, that is smaller triangles out of the bigger triangle. Perhaps this is a clue that Lucy will grow up to be a rendering engineer.

Anyways, I don’t think I did a great job of cutting since after just eating one of the smaller pieces, Lucy abandoned her initial slice and just grabbed a new one from the box. She ate this one grownup style, just using her hands. I didn’t want the other slice to go to waste, so I ate it myself. Abigail said I’d make a great father since kids will leave leftover food frequently and there’s only the parents to eat it.

After Abigail also made sure that Lucy ate her veggies, it was fast approaching her bedtime. As part of toddler-parent negotiations, Mom told Lucy that if she went upstairs to get into her jammies, Uncle Erwin would give her a treat before bed. So Dave and Lucy went upstairs to get her changed while I brought out her treat from 7-11.

Just a few minutes later, Dave and Lucy returned with Lucy in some adorable PJs with feet. Lucy sat next to me eagerly awaiting her treat. Not wanting to keep her in suspense, I pulled out a three-pack of Hostess Twinkies. Lucy eyes went wide in amazement. I opened the package so she could get at one of the sponge cake goodies. It was then I realized that for a two and a half year old, a Twinkie is a pretty big dessert. I was concerned she might not be able to finish one by herself. Dave took one as well and I grabbed the last Twinkie.

So here were all three of us on the couch eating Twinkies. Lucy eating her very first Twinkie flanked by her Dad and her Dad’s weird friend. I’ve known Dave since we were nineteen years old back we were just kids in university. If you had told us back then that years later we’d be sitting on a couch eating Twinkies with Dave’s daughter, well we’d probably would have asked why it wasn’t fried chicken instead. Abi must have sensed the gravity of the moment as well since she brought a digital camera and took a few photos of us for posterity.

Lucy must have really enjoyed the Twinkie since she was getting down to the last bit of it when two pieces fell onto the carpet. I picked them both up and put them on the plate. By that time, Lucy had finished what she had in her hand. She then went to grab at the pieces on the plate that had fallen on the floor. I asked Abi if I should stop her. She said no and that Lucy had eaten much worse off floors. Plus, it would have been difficult to stop her anyways. So I watched Lucy eat the remaining bits, thus polishing off an entire Twinkie by herself. Wow!

I went back into my 7-11 bag and brought out a two-pack of Hostess Cup Cakes. Abi told me I’d better put that away since Lucy would want to eat those too and she had enough dessert already. After getting a thorough wipedown, it was time for Lucy to head off to brush her teeth and go to bed. I said goodbye to Lucy, hoping that next time I would be able to introduce her to a Wendy’s Baconator.

I’d like to thank Dave and Abigail for being good sports. I know there are some parents out there who would be less than willing to let some dude bring fatty desserts for their toddler, so I appreciate their understanding. I especially appreciate it since I later found out that Lucy also had her first Fillet-O-Fish that day. She may only be a toddler but she sure seems to like the same foods I like!

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