Temptation

“I think I’m going to have a few peanut butter eggs,” C announced as he finished his dinner and pushed his chair away from the table. I had picked up a bag of chocolate covered peanut butter eggs from the clearance bin on a quick trip through the grocery store in the days after Easter. It was a temptation my sugar-addict couldn’t resist.

A few peanut butter eggs,” I repeated. “Exactly how many is ‘a few’?” He smiled in response, but made no reference to an exact number. Earlier, when I arrived home from work, I had noticed several wrappers from this very same treat in the trash. So I asked, “Didn’t you already have some when you got home from school?”

He raised one eyebrow, a talent he learned at a young age from his grandmother. “M-a-y-be…” he drew out the word, so as to throw in some uncertainty. It wasn’t working because… well, I had seen the wrappers in the trash.

“I think you’ve had enough,” I told him. I used to say, I think you’ve had enough sugar for one day, but that was when he was waist high and zipped around the house like a bouncy ball if he even so much as smelled sugar.

He feigned a look of shock. “Enough? There is never enough.” He shook his head as he made his way to the pantry cabinet. He reached in and took an egg. He held it up to his cheek, and he raised his eyebrows – Please?

And then his face shifted as it took on a hint of mischief. His expression mimicked one I’d first seen when he was a mere toddler. That day, I had given him some food in a glass bowl with the statement, “Be careful. This is a big boy bowl.” He had watched my face, calculating my response, as he pushed the bowl off his high chair tray onto the ceramic tile. This time, the consequence was minimal as he playfully ripped open the wrapper of the peanut butter egg. A satisfied look overtook his face as if to say, Now what are you going to do? I laughed.

In the end, he ate the candy egg. But just one. Our “argument” was all in fun, and was well worth it to see that mischievous expression again—the one that so easily transported me right back to his (much) younger days when he was still a toddler in the high chair.

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