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Mommy's Little Detective

Remember my daughter Cora – the
legalist? And remember how I have witnesses that I do not make this
stuff up?

So a few evenings ago, I cleaned up from dinner and snagged my
usual, clandestine two (ok, five) peanut M&Ms (c’mon,
they’re practically protein bars!) from behind a cabinet
door. I had just chewed the last one as I walked into the living
room and sat down on the floor to let Cora sit in my lap. She
backed herself up and plopped her hiney down, her head facing away
from me.

Suddenly her nose went up in the air, sniffing like a bloodhound.
She turned around on my lap, grabbed my face in her hands and say,
“Mommy, what you eat?”

Shocked, I stalled. “Umm, Mommy had
pizza for dinner, remember?” (True statement –hey,
it’s got all four food groups.)

She stared piercingly. “What you got in there now?”

I glanced helplessly at my husband, who knew I’d been in the
“forbidden” cupboard before I sat down and was
suspiciously close to peeing in his pants. “Nothing, honey,
there’s nothing in there now.”

Sniff, sniff, sniiiiiiff. “I smell suh-wock-uh-wat.”

Stunned but cornered, I persevered bravely. “No, honey, Mommy
didn’t have chocolate for dinner. Mommy had pizza, remember?
Cora had pizza, too.”

Still holding my face in her hands, she turned it this way and
that, trying to catch a glimpse of melt-in-your-mouthedness stuck
in my teeth, perhaps. Stubbornly unable to let go, Cora persisted:
“There suh-wock-uh-wat in there, Mommy. I smell it.”

Keep in mind this is my not-yet-two-year-old, who has not once ever
had a taste of chocolate herself. But she’s seen more than
her fair share of it being baked up or bribing –er,
rewarding- her potty-training sister, and apparently the nose

After many protestations, Cora finally gave up, settling in to my
lap with a last, sullen, “I smell the suh-wock-uh-wat,

Busted. Now I gotta keep tic-tacs in the forbidden cabinet, too, to
cover up the evidence - er, erase the crime scene - er, um, forget


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