Monday, November 12, 2007

Pint Sized Hospitality

My seven year old Dear Daughter Number Two had a friend over the other night for a sleepover.

This was quite an event since it was her first time ever to play hostess, and she took her role seriously. We had talked extensively beforehand about good hospitality, stressing how important it was for her to see to it that her guest had a good time. I was quite proud of how well she did throughout the visit.

Especially impressive was the fact that the girls took care of their own breakfast needs even though they got up at the ungodly hour of 6 am on a weekend morning. (Translation: they let me sleep in).

I was planning on making a hearty, healthy breakfast later so I knew that even though they only had a light breakfast of toast or cereal, they would get something nice and hot in their little tummies before we left for church.

Imagine my surprise when breakfast was ready and I offered it to the two little cherubs, and they turned me down flat, politely saying no thank you, they were still full from eating breakfast earlier, and they scampered off to play. Being busy at the time getting the whole crew fed and out the door for church, I was puzzled at the longevity of their earlier undoubtedly skimpy breakfast but didn't have time to pursue the point before we left in a mad rush.

Once we arrived at church I deposited the little girl with her whole-foods-only-health-nut-parents. As I walked away I could hear her exclaim to her parents that she wanted to come back again...that we served the best breakfast! And they let us have as much as we wanted! I knew she hadn't eaten any of the big breakfast I made so I thought it was an odd comment. Who knew toast and cereal were that exciting? And of course they could eat as much as they wanted. I shrugged my shoulders and reflected as I often do that kids are funny sometimes.

After we returned home from church it occurred to me that there weren't any cereal bowls in the sink and no toast evidence anywhere. (I don't know about your children, but mine always feel it their duty to leave a direct food trail in case historians ever wonder what human beings were eating circa 2007). A slight feeling of unease began stirring within me.

I called my daughter over and casually asked if they had cereal for breakfast.


"Well, toast, then?" I said hopefully, my fingers crossed behind my back, as my feeling of unease grew.

"Oh, no, Mommy."

"Well, what did you eat then?" I asked, having run out of seven-year-old options and cringing inside at what I might hear next. Sure enough...

"Milk and cookies!"