Our Fourth of July highlight (and by highlight I mean it was really all we did) was observing a four-year-old's fairy birthday party. She's adorable, and FOUR.
Last Thursday we were at Austin's family's Family Dinner and this four-year-old would NOT eat her chicken.
She cried and cried and cried about it. "No! I don't want to eat my chicken! NO! Noooooo! Noo-ho-ho-ho-ho! Pleeeease just let me go swimming!"
Her mom: "Not til you eat your chicken."
"I don't want to eat my chicken."
"We know. Eat your chicken."
She suddenly stopped crying, "How about instead of chicken I just have a cheese sandwich."
"No you need to eat your chicken."
"Ok, I'll just have a cheese sandwich first and then I'll eat my chicken."
"No. Eat your chicken."
Austin decided to go for what she loves most. "If you don't eat your chicken your hair will fall out." The poor girl will be so confused for a long time; I imagine this little girl seeing a leukemia patient and yelling, "You should have eaten your chicken!"
Still, no chicken had been eaten.
We stopped watching her for a minute and just ignored the yelling. Again, a sudden silence filled the room.
"I'm going to eat my chicken!" She said, "Yay for me! Yay!" (Someone has watched too much self-praising children's television.) Then she started her OWN chant, "Jocie, Jocie, Jocie!" The adults in the room followed like so many do when the late Billy Mays tells us to call the number on the screen.
She put the chicken in her mouth and a cheer filled the air. Hands lifted like Rocky, the little girl had been victorious! . . . kind of.
It didn't take long before her face left the Land of Hope and Wonder and quickly plummeted into must have been the deepest Pit of Disgust. She opened her mouth and spit it out hoping that if we watched how much she sincerely didn't like her chicken, we wouldn't make her eat it.
After the dust settled we noticed her plate now had only 2 of her previous 4 bites of chicken.
"What happened to the rest of your chicken, Jocie?"
I made the next mistake and asked, "Did you eat it?"
Perfect opportunity to half shake her head, yes, and by-so-doing 'accidentally' lie about eating the rest of the chicken.
We searched the area and discovered the missing specimen in a bowl on the counter neatly tucked underneath the leftover green peppers.
"I'm just going to go to the bathroom real fast and then I'll come back and eat my chicken."
She ran off to the 'bathroom' and came out with her hands behind her back. She carefully walked to the door and realized her plan had a flaw! She couldn't open the door with her hands behind her back and in an attempt to quickly open the door revealed her concealed swimming suit as she jetted out the door. None of us got up after her. Grandma was outside and we all knew Grandma wasn't going to let her swim until Mom said it was okay. Despite her lying to Grandma, Jocie was shortly back in the house at square one:
"NOOOOO!!!! I DON'T WANT TO EAT MY CHICKEN!"
Grandma went upstairs to change. Jocie cried about the chicken.
[Insert same for about five minutes: "No! . . . Swimming! . . . Chicken! . . . Cheese Sandwich!!!"]
Grandma came back downstairs where our little one was still crying. That is, until she noticed Grandma had return.
"I DON'T WANT TO EAT MY CHICKEN! I DON'T WANT TO EAT MY CHI . . . Is that your swimsuit!?"
Nice change of subject, but who knew that a four-year-old would pick a 'fashion emergency' as her subject of choice. I have never seen a little girl so sincerely concerned for her Grandmother's attire. A pretty little face full of disgust, devastation, and embarrassment, not over the half hour wasted fighting the chicken, but in despair over a backyard-lounging fashion disaster.
Jocie's mom took her home after that.
But thank God that she fought for as long as she did.
It was worth it. And hey, she never did have to eat that chicken.