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Proving Once More That She Listens To EVERYTHING

As part of my quest to get the kitchen
unpacked and organized, I’ve been setting up our kitchen
pantry for the long haul, organizing it into a user-friendly
– and, need I add, tidy – system. Maddie and Cora have
become used to seeing me in front of one open door or another,
plastic storage tubs and shelf extenders scattered everywhere. With
two kids and little time to devote to such luxuries as neatness,
it’s slow going and I’m sometimes tempted to simply
shove everything onto the shelves and be done.

Then I come to my Container Store-heightened senses and press

Anyway, I finished a large portion of it
the other day and wanted desperately to show it off to someone.
Unfortunately for my ego, the only person standing around was my
two-year-old, who would probably not be properly awed. But beggars
can’t be choosers so I beckoned her over and held forth.

I explained to Maddie my genius behind sorting pastas by shape, and
picked her up so she could admire the shelf baskets filled with
baby food. I sensed I was losing her, so quickly moved to the shelf
I knew would actually mean something to her – the snack

My desire to set a good food example for my kids always wars with
my inherent love of chocolate and junk food, and I settled this
internal argument the cowardly way in the pantry – by
duplicity. The very top shelf (remember this if you ever come
visit) is where I stashed the cookies, microwave popcorn, and
chocolate. It’s so high up I can’t see it, but trust
me, I can find those Oreos by touch in seconds. But Madeleine
spends half her life snacking and obviously won’t be eating
my Oreos (I’m terrible at sharing), so I’ve got a whole
host of healthy snacks for her. Enter the snack shelf.

I made the snack shelf the pantry shelf that’s at toddler eye
level; I know she’ll be looking in that pantry daily and will
want whatever she sees, so I figured she’d better be looking
at multi-grain crackers and veggie booty. I also thought that with
three adults in the house, parenting decisions would be simpler if
we all know that she can eat anything from that shelf any time
– no wondering what she can eat half an hour before bedtime.
So while there are other snacks, like goldfish, one shelf up, the
Snack Shelf is the cream of the healthy crop.

“And here, Maddie,” I said, finishing my pantry tour,
“is your snack shelf. You can have any of these snacks any
time. Isn’t that great? Now we’ve got all your snacks
in one place.” Maddie nodded interestedly, then turned to get
back to her game as I went to tackle the next chunk of pantry.

Fast forward to yesterday, when we arrived home from our morning
outing at the Open Gym. After we got into the house I set Maddie up
with a snack of apples and crackers to tide her over while I put
Cora down for a nap, and headed upstairs to nurse.

As Cora worked her way towards sleep, I sat rocking and worrying
about Maddie; I hate leaving that kid alone for these stretches of
time. While I worried, I began hearing doors opening and closing in
the kitchen, and started worrying in earnest that someone was
breaking into the house and stealing my kid. I knew this was
impossible, but I still hurried through the nursing and ran down as
fast as I could.

I came around the corner into the kitchen to see Maddie sitting on
her snack stool eating cranberries. Now back up two paragraphs and
recall that this was not the snack I gave Maddie. As I tried to
figure out how I’d given her cranberries and forgotten it,
Maddie looked up.

“Hey, Mommy, look what I got out!” she said

“Where did you get the cranberries, baby?” I asked.

“From the snack shelf, Mommy, like you showed me!”

“What made you think it was ok to get them out without asking
me, though, kiddo?” I asked sternly. Maddie looked confused.

“But you said those were snacks I could have any time!”

Ah, so I did. Hoisted on my own organized petard.


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