If you read my Nov. 9 post entitled "The Mean Cook," chances are, you already think I was a terrible mother to my daughter Cookie. It is all about my concocting a big lie to encourage Cookie, who was about two at the time, to behave herself at a local restaurant so that Pa-pa and I could enjoy a nice meal out with our daughter neither on top of the table nor underneath it.
You may recall that I told her a mean cooked worked there and he really did not like for kids to misbehave. He could come flying out of that kitchen at any time, I said, brandishing kitchen cutlery that was the stuff of every child's nightmare.
Through the years, the story of the mean cook became a staple in our diet of family stories, and now Sooby and Pooh love to hear it. They especially love the idea that their mama could have been a rotten little kid, and the more I embellish that part, the more they love it.
I previously thought that Cookie was taking it all in stride. Not true. Instead, she has been calculating. Now I know that she has just been biding her time, waiting for the opportunity to tell the kids a story that makes me look like a candidate for investigation by the Department of Child Welfare.
I first became aware of this the other day when I innocently pushed the "play" button on our phone's answering machine. Sooby's little voice rang through the kitchen loud and clear: "Googie?" she said. "How do people lay eggs?" When I heard this, I knew I was busted. I knew that Cookie had squealed without giving me the chance to lawyer up.
The incriminating story involves me, two-year-old Cookie, her crib and a hard-boiled egg. To this day I don't know why I did it, but I told her that if she tried real hard, she could lay an egg in her crib.
So she would squat down, grunt like the dickens, and--Voila!--I would appear to reach underneath her and extract an honest-to-goodness egg. So deft was I with the illusion that even David Copperfield would have been impressed.
Of course, problems surfaced when Cookie tried to lay an egg without me there. She got so frustrated that I had to confess it had all been a trick and do what no self-respecting magician ever does--reveal the mechanics of the deception. From her reaction, you would have thought I had told her there was no Santa.
A couple days ago I listened carefully as Sooby's phone message continued. "My mom told me that I could lay an egg," she said. "I sat down and closed my eyes and thought about laying eggs--but it didn't work." By the time I heard this, I was standing at the phone with a rather sheepish grin, trying to figure out what to tell her.
Turns out, Cookie had put her up to the whole thing. After the babysitter had pretended to pull something magically out of Sooby's ear, Cookie told her the egg story, and Sooby wanted to hear all about it from me. So I had to admit to my granddaughter that, yes, I seem to have had a mean streak and played a dirty, rotten trick on a kid the age of her little sister.
Come Easter, when plastic eggs are the plaything of the season, I expect to experience further repercussions from my short-lived, ill-fated stint as a magician. But I take great comfort in the fact that the ball is now in my court--so, Cookie, you listen up.
I told the kids about the mean cook and you countered with the egg. I have my next move planned, so prepare yourself. There is a story about a frog that I think the kids would really love to hear.