This Friday, the Red Writing Hood has prompted me to craft a piece of short fiction featuring the dialogue between two people arguing, focusing more on the spoken language and less on setting details.
Immediately, I was inspired to create a dialogue with a small child, probably because I’ve been reading “The Nanny Diaries” by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. And it’s time for something light-hearted after last week’s piece for the Red Writing Hood, a poem about infidelity and unhappiness titled “The End of the Rainbow.”
I Scream for Ice Cream
“Mama, can I have ice cweam for dessert? Pwetty pwetty please with a cherry on top?”
Four year old Jillian can hardly contain her elation at the sweet possibility of ice cream. She is perched on the edge of her chair, both hands clasped in front of her. Begging and pleading.
“Finish your dinner, Miss Jillian. Then we’ll talk about dessert.”
“I want ice cweam. Ice cweam! Ice cweam! I scweam for ice cweam!”
“I don’t know, Jillian. We have fresh berries for dessert. And I still see a lot of broccoli on your plate.”
“But you gave me soooooo much bwoccoli. I don’t like it! I like ice cweam.”
“Jillian. Stop pestering me, or you can forget about ice cream.”
“If you keep this up, you won’t get berries or ice cream.”
Silence ensues as Jillian and her mother eat in peace.
“Are you all done, Mama?”
“Yes, I am. And I am going to help myself to raspberries and blueberries for dessert.”
“Mama, why do I have to eat all of my dinner and you don’t?”
“Because I’m an adult, Jillian. I have the opposite problem. Adults eat too much and usually, we need to eat less. But you are a little girl and you need a lot of good food to grow big and strong.”
“I’m not little.”
Jillian pauses. For a moment, she appears to be deep in thought.
“If I am little and I need a lot of good food, shouldn’t you give me ice cweam?”
“I wouldn’t classify ice cream as good food, I’d–”
“I would! Ice cweam is soooo good.”
“By good, I mean healthy. Ice cream is junky. We should only eat junk food once in a while.”
“No, it’s not junky! Ice cweam is healthy. I like it.”
“You’re a funny one, Jillian. Foods from the earth are healthy foods, like vegetables. Now finish yours, you only have three broccoli flowers left.”
Jillian pushes the broccoli around her plate and finally acquiesces.
“All done! Can I have ice cweam now?”
“One itsy bitsy scoop. I’ll put the berries on top. And you have to promise not to ask for more. Or else next time you want ice cream, there will be none. We save ice cream for special occasions. It’s only in the freezer because we just celebrated Grandma’s birthday. Do you understand?”
“Ok, I understand. Can I have my ice cweam now?”
Jillian’s mother produces a carton of vanilla bean ice cream. In certain ways, more valuable than gold. The temptation is too much.
“Mama is going to have a little scoop too.”
“But mama, you didn’t eat all of your dinner.”
“Jillian, adults can make their own decisions. Adults don’t need to eat as much as children. Remember?”
“Then why are you having ice cweam?”
Jillian’s mother put down the spoon. She’d save her ice cream for later. After Jillian went to bed.
Do you ever “sneak” certain foods away from the prying eyes of your children? I know I do!