The honey smoothie

It turns out he did tip the smoothie down the bathroom sink.

Now here’s where I think I ran into a bit of trouble with my blogging. Not that I was ever a mummy blogger in the strict sense of the way people (mis)use that term, but certainly my experiences as the mother of very young children coloured my blog simply because they coloured my thinking. If my four-year-old or six-year-old had screwed his nose up at a smoothie because his dad used honey yoghurt instead of vanilla I daresay it would have been funny. It would have been a bit of light relief from a life of physical and emotional intensity.

But now he’s ten. Dealing with a smoothie that’s been tipped down the sink is something less than funny and something more of an entanglement, no?

I grew up in the kind of house where you ate what was on your plate and you didn’t complain. As a parent, I don’t really work that way, because yes, I reckon if someone goes to the effort of putting a meal in front of you, you give it a go, but I rarely tell people that they have to finish eating what’s on their plate or drinking what’s in their glass. Two things: I think forcing people to eat is gross; and I abhor rich people wasting food or water. Another thing: he’s not a fussy eater, but he’s got a small grazing range. Another thing: you get into a battle of wills with that lad you are going to lose. One final thing: drinking a smoothie made with honey instead of vanilla is no great hardship even if you’re not really a fan of honey.

When he first left the kitchen, smoothie in hand, I thought about telling the lad that he had to come back to the table instead of walking out of the kitchen with his glass. I thought about not going up to his room to collect the glass. And I definitely thought about not looking in the bathroom sink. I did not follow any of my own internal advice.

He had done a pretty good job of disposing of the evidence, but he’s 10 and I’m 44 and I’ve spent all his life observing him where he hasn’t really learned to think like anyone except himself. See? Me, I would have flushed it down the toilet because I would have known those chunks of mango are gonna be a bugger to dispose of.

I thought about not mentioning it, because you know, once you mention it, you have to follow through. And because I knew the minute I mentioned it he would deny it, and then we’d be dealing with not just the deception, but a more calculated lie.

But then I thought, It was really wrong what he did and he needs to be held to account. So when we were in the car driving home from school and after they had said everything they needed to say about the day’s exams, I casually said, with a hint of a laugh which was supposed to give him space to be honest and to keep his pride, ‘So, did you really drink that smoothie this morning?’

You know what he said, don’t you?

‘Yes.’ With a tone of great offence. And then put his nose back in his book.

I left it for a couple of hours until the dinner had been cooked and consumed and the table had been cleared. Eldest was on the computer looking for Rubik’s cube hacks, I was on my laptop determined to squeeze out the rest of the day’s quota of words. And youngest was at the table, looking in the thesaurus.

This is him: ‘A…’ flick flick flick ‘b’ flick flick flick ‘c’ flick flick flick

This is me: ‘With regard to the smoothie…it’s just I saw there was quite a bit of smoothie in the bathroom sink.’

Him again: ‘f’ flick flick flick ‘g’ flick flick flick

And me: ‘So I think maybe you didn’t drink it and maybe you tipped it down the sink.’


Him: ‘h’ flick flick flick ‘i…right’

Me: ‘So?’

Him (still without taking his head out of the thesaurus): ‘All right. I drank half of it and half of it I tipped down the sink…icy, idea, ideal, idealistic…’

Me: ‘You know in some houses you would be punished for that.’

Him: ‘identical, identification’

Me still talking although I am 44 and should know better: ‘What are you looking for anyway?’

Him: ‘Ha! Here it is…fool, ass, dolt, imbecile, simpleton…’

Me: ‘That doesn’t sound very nice.’

Voice of lad sitting at the computer: ‘You said we aren’t allowed to call each other idiot.’

Me: ‘Everyone clean your teeth and go to bed.’

And that is a picture of me, doing what everyone tells you you will do, but you never believe them. Wishing my children were toddlers again.

9 thoughts on “The honey smoothie”

  1. I prefer to have those sort of discussions when there’s nothing to deflect them (like thesaurus searches), if only because the older one is getting better at lying, and I’m still holding (diminishing) faith in my method of staring quizzically at him in the hope that he’ll break.

    1. You don’t like smoothies? I make them really smooth these days. Though I admit I only have about a quarter of a glass at a time. Also sometimes I just make them into ice cream.

  2. I grew up in a household where you ate what was put in front of you. All of it. The worst example was when I was served the SAME piece of liver for three consecutive meals. I wept, and refused to eat. When everyone else had finished their meal the liver was taken away from me – and brought back at the next meal. Awful, awful, awful and I believe wrong on so many levels. (The liver drama ended when my mother told my father it had gone off – I don’t think she could cope with the scenes again. )

  3. Hugs.
    That’s not fun. My mum eventually stopped asking us to admit when we’d done stuff… so she would have announced that there was smoothie in the sink and I was going to clean the bathroom, and no amount of denials at that point would change her mind.
    Of course, this meant that occasionally the wrong culprit was fingered.

    ps I’ll trade you a toddler for a ten year old. my three year old came home from preschool yesterday saying, ‘I worked really hard today mum’. When I asked what he had been doing it was ‘kicking and fighting my friends’

  4. Fortunately, my child has inherited his mother’s talent for covering truth with rhetoric and not my own. Well, at least not much of my own. At least he does not giggle and prance from foot to foot when attempting a fabrication, unlike his mother.

  5. I am so glad you are back to blogging but like another of your commenters I couldn’t get past your vivid description of the smoothie – I HATE mango and so the very idea of mango chunks in a sink…also, I am early pregnant (like you can’t tell people yet it’s so early and yet, sick as a dog, you know) so this felt especially vivid!

  6. This popped up in my reader again, for some reason.
    *Update time!*
    Just yesterday by boy turned his nose up at a sandwich he had specifically asked for. It’s not that he didn’t want it, it was just part of a larger campaign of melodrama. Holy shit, did he get the Laser Eyes. And then he went to his room. And then he was allowed to hear it explained in a different way by mum. And then he realised that saying ‘thank you’ and eating the sandwich is much preferable.

  7. Horrible boy! Just like mine. 🙂

    Courtney, I feel your pain. You feel the worst you will ever feel throughout the pregnancy (barring later complications) and NO sympathy!

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