The pies of Thanksgiving always have me thinking about whipped cream. Yum! The whipped cream also reminds me of two great stories.
A few weeks ago my oldest son had a cold. To decrease the mucus with the cold I usually eliminate dairy from his diet for a few days. Unfortunately, the day he got sick, Dad came home with pie, ice cream, and whipped cream. He had pie, but not the toppings and was none to happy with Mama about that. I promised him I would let him have a bowl full of both ice cream and whipped cream for a treat when he was feeling better, but apparently he wasn't quite convinced I would follow through.
A couple of days later I was coming down the stairs and he came scurrying toward me from the kitchen and gave me a big hug. I didn't think too much about it, but a couple a minutes later he came back to me and told me he had to confess. Unbeknownst to me, he had been sneaking whipped cream from the container in the refrigerator when I came down the stairs. He said he didn't think I would really let him have some when he was better, so he had been sneaking big scoops of it with his hands.
He was really worried I'd be mad at him. Instead I surprised him by laughing and hugging him, then sharing with him my own story of succumbing to the allure of whipped cream.
As a little girl I had the good fortune to spend a great deal of time with my Grandma. Much of that time was also spent with my dear cousin GB. Every afternoon Grandma would take a nap for an hour or two and GB and I were supposed to rest, watch TV, or play quietly. Being curious girls we frequently found ourselves up to our eyeballs in trouble instead. Grandma had a variety of items around the house that we found quite irresistible and would frequently sneak while she was napping. The most infamous was the Cool Whip in the freezer.
GB and I loved Cool Whip and Grandma always kept a few containers in the freezer for family dinners. Once we discovered this, we made it a habit to slip into the freezer, open a container, and scrap a spoon or our fingers across the top for a little taste. We would smooth the top evenly and one time left the thinnest layer possible in the bottom of the bowl to make sure we hadn't eaten the whole thing. Somehow we fooled ourselves into believing Grandma wouldn't notice. Well, she definitely noticed!
As adults when the pies and the whipped cream came out at Thanksgiving, Grandma would tell the story of going to the freezer to get the Cool Whip and discovering the all but empty container. We tried to defend ourselves, but usually ended up laughing and confessing countless other ridiculous things we'd done while Grandma was napping. The afternoons with GB and Grandma telling that story are some of my favorite memories.
After hearing this story, my son was relieved that he was not the only one to feel the allure of whipped cream and excited that I had shared the story with him. It was a wonderful moment of connection for the two of us. I was so proud of him for being honest with me and relieved that I had been able to handle the situation with grace and humor.
I love these moments of confident parenting when it all seems to come together. They make the frequent times of struggle much more bearable and remind me that I can be the parent I want to be, but I don't have to be perfect (and neither do my kids).