Claire is three years old.  She will tell you that with great pride, melanoma also pointing out that next she will be FOUR!  Amazing how that happens. 

Three year olds abhor food.  Not all food, just food on their plates at dinner time.  The rule at Casa Unreserved is she who fails to eat her dinner will not get any “bedsnack.”  (snack eaten before bedtime, healthy as often as not since my kids are suckered into thinking things like fresh fruit and yogurt are grand treats,  typically consumed on Mama’s lap while one is hearing stories)  Claire, being very very three, thinks she is smarter than house rules.

Last night after a near solid hour of monkeying around, the girls were told that they had five minutes to finish their dinners, after which plates would be removed.  Anyone not eating a suitable amount of dinner, a.k.a. “eating good,” would not be getting any more food until breakfast.  “Fine,” said Claire, “I’m not hungry anyway.”  The remainder of her dinner went in the garbage and she ran off to demolish her bedroom play. 

Bedtime rolled around, and Claire asked what she could have for a bedsnack.  I reminded her that she was getting no snack, cue wailing and gnashing of tiny teeth with full histrionics.  The storm was brief.  There was a sisterly consultation.  Not five minutes later she was at my side, tapping on my shoulder.  “I wanna tell you something, Mama.  I love you.”  She threw in her most winsome face for good measure.  Eyelashes may have been batted.

“I love you too, Claire.  But you’re still not getting a bedsnack.”

“But I just want to give you a kiss!  That’s all!”

“I’d love a kiss from you!  You’re still not getting a bedsnack.”

“That’s okay.  Anna said she’d share hers with me.”  With plan in place, the self-satisfied weasel sauntered out of the room.

“Anna is not allowed to share her bedsnack with you – you get NO bedsnack.  Maybe tomorrow you’ll eat your dinner.” 

Cue tantrum #2. 

Never try to outweasel Mama.

My daughter, the teenaged naturalist.

[The scene:  This morning.  In the bathroom.  I am brushing my teeth, cardiologist Claire is hanging around, chatting.]

Claire:  [spotting an ant on the floor] Mama!  An ant!  Kill it!  Kill it!

Me:  Leave the ant alone, it’s not bothering anything.

Claire:  It’s a carpenter ant!  It will eat the carpet!  Kill it!

Me:  It will not.  Leave the ant alone.

Claire:  Look, at the ant, Mama!  I see its antlers!

Me:  Those are antenae, not antlers.

Claire:  [with audible eyerolling] What-EVER.