A few days ago at breakfast, Finn got up abruptly and went to the refrigerator. I suspected it was to get more maple syrup since I had just observed him carefully scooping the amount I had given him off of the top of his oatmeal and slurping it down.
“Finn,” I said.
“Don’t worry about me,” he said turning back with a hand in the air and a tone that sounded
more like a 14 than 4 year old.
He then lugged the quart container back and plopped it on the table. “Please?” he said.
The battle of sweets is fought hard in this household. Especially since my sweet tooth is the size of Switzerland, Belgium and France combined. And it’s the dark confection those countries are so good at that I tend to gravitate toward. This has not gone unnoticed.
A few weeks ago after I had sneaked a couple of pieces of 70 percent cacao from my secret stash, Finn was suddenly at my side urgently needing to share something with me. He had a set of Lego instructions in his hand. On one page were tiny pictures of other lego sets they want you to buy.
“Come here look,” he said with his nose an inch from the page. “Just a minute,” I said, pretending to look for something amongst the bottles of oils and vinegars while chewing and swallowing as fast as I could. Then I squatted down next to him to see better.
“This is the one I want for Christmas next year,” he whispered intensely, pointing like he was showing me a map to buried treasure.
“Ok,” I whispered back “but Christmas is a long ways away. You may decide by then that you want something else.”
He turned to me and his expression changed completely to a knowing smile.
“Says the man with the chocolate breath,” he said.
“What are you the chocolate police?” I said.
“Where is it?” he said scrunching up his nose and putting his hands on his hips.
I have to say, I love that he loves chocolate. Even if it’s not to the extent that I do. He doesn’t always prefer it and he doesn’t generally like chocolate ice cream. But when I say we’re going to make chocolate chip cookies he lights up as much as he does with the prospect of a new toy. Which makes it even harder to limit it.
“You wouldn’t like it,” I said
“Why?” he asked.
“It’s gluten-free,” I said
“Yuck!” he said and walked away.
I accidentally discovered his aversion to that term about a year ago and I keep it in my special weapons cache. I use it sparingly so as not to diminish it’s potency. And while I do feel a little guilty saying it, I’m kind of telling the truth. He wouldn’t like the effects of having too much, nor would I.
And it is gluten free.
And a man has to do what he can to protect his chocolate stash.
David Dewitt is an artist, blogger, and painter who lives with his family in the Rondout Valley. For more visit daviddewitt.com.