Thursday, May 14

Self-Control: It's What's for Dinner

It was only recently that she discovered the joyful bliss that erupts when you bite into peanut butter smothered in chocolate. Since that discovery, Alexis has made a habit of asking to eat a piece of candy every day. She is specifically requesting a little tiny Reese's bunny from the depths of her still-in-business Easter basket. It's really not a problem since we're talking about all of maybe one inch of chocolate, but today she made the error of asking while I was still cooking dinner.

"You have to wait until after we eat dinner," I told her.

"But I don't want to," she replied.

I gave her The Look, The Look that made it clear that even thinking about asking again would be a surefire method for getting in Big Trouble. Alexis acknowledged that she understood the ramifications of The Look and went over to the fridge to arrange magnetic letters into words that only make sense in a 3-year old's head. I went back to cooking.

A few minutes later, Alexis walked into the living room. Seemingly to no one, she said, "I'll just pretend to eat it." It was almost a whisper, words most certainly not meant to get my attention.

"Alexis, did you take a piece of candy?" I asked. Mom always knows.

Startled, Alexis looked across the room at me and replied, "I just going to pretend to eat it."

"Mmmmmhmmmmmm," I replied as I shot her another patented The Look. I wasn't really worried about it. If she ate it, she ate it. If she didn't, even better. Picking battles is all I can do.

I watched from across the house as Alexis carefully unwrapped the peanut butter bunny, occasionally glancing over her shoulder to see if I was still paying attention.

"See! I'm not eating it!" she called out.

"You better not eat it until you eat dinner, Little Miss," I replied.

"I just pretend," she said. Again and again. It was as if muttering those words took her to another place, a place where that chocolate and that peanut butter could come together in beautiful harmony inside her little mouth.

She finally finished the unwrapping process and her chubby little fingers carefully spread out the shiny silver wrapper. She laid the little bunny on top of the paper and pushed it aside as she waited for her dinner.

I'm not exactly sure when she ate the bunny, but I do know she waited until after she finished her dinner. That, my friends, is the power of The Look.

Too bad it will probably stop working by the time she's a teenager.


  1. Anonymous12:47 AM

    With a little healthy fear of her parents/punishment the look can work well into her 20s, where the fear hopefully switches over to respect and the look can continue to work at least sometimes for the rest of your life. I'm (mumble something sounding vaguely like late 30s) and moms look still works. At least while I'm around her...


  2. Oh, she is a girl after my own heart...if only I exercised that kind of self control. Maybe I need you to throw a few The Looks my way.

  3. Can you give a tutorial on The Look? I certainly don’t have it, and I think my son knows it. That is some impressive self control she has there. She is such a doll!

  4. Wow! Impressive!

  5. Oh, the look works for a while on the girls - 10 I think is the end of the road for it, sadly. The look has no effect on boys, however. They just smile and do it anyway - well, at least mine does.

  6. OMG the will power of your girl. I want,
    nope make that NEED some of that.

    And yeah, since ALL my teen will eat is chocolate pop tarts for breakfst enjoy the power of the 'look' while it works.

  7. Impressive self control!

    And The Look can carry you into 13 or 14 if you are lucky. I used to facilitate partial hospitalization groups for middle school kids and I developed The Look quickly. The man who co-facilitated with me used to laugh that it was a woman thing because the kids would freeze when I broke out The Look but he couldn't master it.

  8. The look is all powerful indeed until they become a teenager. Then surprisingly you discover they have perfected for themselves in defiance to whatever you're saying. (Hugs)Indigo

  9. Wow ... you need to teach me the look!!!

  10. I can't believe she waited! Wow, talk about will power... talk about the power of 'the look'... I so don't have that ability with my boys. They walk all over me!

  11. So impressive! I'm glad she waited. :) Can you please teach me The Look so that I can practice now for when Deacon's older?

  12. My son doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter together. It's some sort of genetic defect I'm sure because WTH?

  13. I kept waiting for her to call it her precioussssss. :) Seriously, all the whispering was too cute!

    Also, I'm surprised so many moms don't know about/have The Look! I thought it was in the manual. Or maybe I'm just mirroring The Look that I *still* get from MY mom.

  14. I have been addicted to the Reese's easter eggs since early in life. I don't know if a look, a rabid wolf, or even Bin Laden himself could keep me from eating one.

    Obviously you have great powers.

  15. Hey, you use The Look as long as you possibly can. And it may help to know that I still obey my mom's Look. I've also developed my own which surprisingly works on my husband, brother and dad!

    I have to say, though, that I'm sad reading this. It looks like the Pumpkin is allergic to peanuts. If she truly is (appointment with allergist in July), then she will never get to enjoy the beauty of chocolate and peanut butter together. :-( Alexis will just have to enjoy it for her.

  16. once my daughter discovered peanut butter cups, that was the end of life as we knew it. it's calmed down a lot since but was ridiculous!!
    she is so cute!!

  17. Your look is way more effective than mine. I feel sure my look would have resulted in either a tantrum over having to wait, or him shoving it into his mouth really fast and running away. *sigh*

  18. Oh I love "The Look". So effective now but I know it won't last. Sometimes "The Look" will melt my 6 year old to tears. That is great that Alexis waited until she finished her dinner.

  19. impressive. very very impressive.