It’s not yet dawn but the faintest first rays of the day begin to filter into the toddler’s room. His eyes snap open, alert and hungry. His other senses must wake yet, so he lies completely still, listening to the muted rumble that is the still slumbering household.
“Good…” he thinks to himself as a thin smile stretches across his face. “They’re all still sleeping.”
Last weekend I awoke, as I often do, to my three year old son jumping up and down on me like a trampoline. I rolled over to say good morning and was greeted with his smiling face, smeared in what appeared to be dried toothpaste. I stumbled out of bed to investigate and immediately discovered the scene of the crime laid out upon the kitchen counter.
During the wee hours of the morning he had somehow managed to scale some ten feet to our not so secret, secret stash cupboard for cookies and miscellaneous treats. He then retrieved an unopened package of Oreo cookies, sat on the counter and devoured just the cream filling out of every, single, cookie.
My jaw dropped at the horror before me; dozens of useless, creamless Oreos. He saw my face and knew that the jig was up but he simply couldn’t contain his joy.
“What have you done?” I said, summoning my best attempt at a stern admonishment.
His face was a ridiculous blend of worry and victory, all smeared in Oreo cream and searching his brain for the right combination of words to somehow both explain himself and still escape trouble.
Several seconds past before he finally blurted out, “I ate all the cream!” And then he laughed. A deep, unrestrainable laugh that exists only to soar into existence, wild and free. He laughed triumphantly.
I tried contain myself but I couldn’t. I also laughed and then the two of us kept laughing like a couple of crazy people standing there in the kitchen over the remnants of the great Oreo massacre.
He ate all the cream…
I was upset insofar as I don’t consider several ounces of cream frosting to be a nutritional breakfast but mostly I just admired the feat. Whether it was a spontaneous decision upon waking or a plan that he hatched from the moment he saw us stash the Oreos, he pulled it off flawlessly. I imagine him there, sitting on the kitchen counter, peeling the Oreos apart and licking the cream while watching the sunrise to the east and I can only fathom how glorious it was.
Moving forward of course we will have to develop some extra security for the stash cupboard. Laser grids seem slightly out of my price range but perhaps I can build a safe with an elaborate lock into the center of the ceiling. Whatever I do, I know the three year old will be watching. watching and scheming.