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"Dad, I'm Full" - The Left-overs Trick

Viewed 1116 times 2018-1-30 09:10 |Personal category:StoryTeller|System category:Life

From the time my babies first started to eat food served on dishes - from the age of 1, they have always known that if they are full and cannot eat anymore or dislike the food, most often, I would simply finish up the what was left and then wash the dish. I hate to waste food. It became such an accepted household practice that if my kids cannot finish any food anywhere, they would look for and bring it to me by default if I were around - even if at gatherings or in a restaurant.

Now my babies are either my height and size or bigger. The oldest baby, now in the 20s, towers a full head over me. For some years now my teenaged babies have most often washed up their own plates and dishes after a meal and put them away - a sign of growing up and taking responsibility. I wash most of the dishes - with no automatic dishwashing machine at home, I am the automatic dishwasher by default.

My babies still help around occasionally. They are busy with their lives and I let them enjoy this extended 'childhood' with food served often in their own rooms while they are busy working at their desk or in bed. They take due care and diligence in avoiding spills, but it is all part of life and there is no stress. They take responsibility for bringing their empty dishes, washing them at the kitchen sink and putting them away when they are done, unless they are pressed for time. Of course, it  is still the case that if they are full or cannot eat anymore of the food served, I will still take it and either save it for another time if there is sufficient food left or if it is a small amount, quickly pop it into my mouth and wash up the dishes myself. I still hate to waste food. This system works fine most of the time. There are times, however, when it works even better than 'fine'.

When they first started to wash up and put away their dishes, they felt like they were acting 'grown up' and one could sense the 'airs' they put on after that. It was often hilarious and I have silently had a hearty laugh watching them. The would sometimes refer to it their school work or essays about how they 'helped at home' or in letting their friends know over the phone - sounding important "I was just washing up the dishes when you called. so I could not answer right away". All good and fine, until the novelty of being 'grown up' wore off and a little bit of laziness or perhaps fond memories of the old pampering privileges of having 'Dad' to rely on crept in.

My babies, since their early teen age, started to showing signs of getting 'clever' or a bit devious. I remember the first times when the oldest of my babies, not quite able to conceal the look of the guilty, telling me as I checked to see if he were done eating and reminding them to wash and put away the dishes.

"Dad, I'm full. I cannot eat anymore," said my baby.

It was said in an unusual tone, with such concentration and an intent expression, scanning my face to see if I 'bought it' that I was taken aback. I recovered my composure rather quickly after looking at the cute, innocently guilty face, thinking something is going on.

"Sure, I will finish it and wash up," I said picking up the plate. The expression of surprise at the ease with which my baby felt, he 'got away' with it, and the way his eyes followed me as I left the room only made me confident in my hypthesis. It was further confirmed when he came up and polished off a hearty dessert a few minutes after that when I called him out of his room for that.

 After a couple of more days, he tried it once again - again watching me carefully. I did not let on, and said 'Sure! No problem". I suppose he felt guilty and did not try it for a week after that. Then again it worked. It has worked every single time he tried. I note that he does not try it too often. There are times he tries to make up for it by helping me with something else or washing up one of the dishes he has not used himself.

My second baby, has watched him and caught on. She initially felt outraged at her sibling but then learned that she too could do the same. I am privileged to have the two still, once in a while and but not too often, try this trick on me.

What my babies do not realize or understand is the pleasure they give me with such 'tricks' and how much I enjoy it - in the fleeting time we are fortunate to spend together. Who knows how many more years one can have one's kids around, being able to be tricked like this?

I can never have enough of my kids saying "Dad, I'm full, I've had enough!"

Copyright (c) KIyer 2017
All Rights Reserved

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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