About a month ago, I had the good fortune to visit the grandchildren in Portland. Zadie and I took a special trip to Powell’s Bookstore and topped it off with a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at the store nearby. So today when her Mom, Aunt (Tita) and Grandma (Mima) were bonding with a Barre 3 work-out, we took another trip to Powell’s. Naturally, Zadie remembered the ice cream, literacy and sweet treats forever linked in her mind.
“Well, Zadie, we’re going to have lunch right after this and it’s not a good idea to have ice cream before lunch. And it’s your Aunt Talia’s special birthday lunch and she would be a little sad if you didn’t eat anything.”
“That’s okay! I’m always hungry. I can have ice cream and lunch!”
“Okay, Zadie, here’s the deal. It’s true that we had so much fun last time looking at books and sharing a treat and part of my job as your Pop-Pop is to spoil you. So let’s go to the bookstore first and then we’ll get a small cone, but let’s keep it a secret. Let's not say anything about it when we meet up with Mom, Mima and Tita. Okay?”
Zadie was great in the bookstore and true to my promise, off we went to our special spot. She got a chocolate brownie cone, buckled herself in the car and armed with several napkins to erase the evidence off her face, off we went.
Success depended upon timing. Zadie was about halfway done as I went over the Hawthorne Bridge headed to Division and 32nd. By the time I reached Division, she was down to the last few bites. So far so good.
Next step was to wipe off all the chocolate on her face. At each stoplight, I directed her where she should wipe and by the time we parked, she was looking pretty good. She got out of the car and closed the door and I exclaimed, “Wait! The dirty napkins are still in the car! We have to get them and throw them in the garbage!” I unlocked the car, she gathered all incriminating evidence and handed it to me. Down the street, we could see the three gals heading towards us. “Zadie, we need a garbage can! Quick! Into this store!” We threw away the chocolate-smeared napkins and then went into the doorway of the place next store to hide and jump out. I checked her face once more, gave her a high-five and said, “Remember, it’s our little secret.”
As Mom, Mima and Tita walked by, we jumped out and surprised them. Fun! They all hugged Zadie and said, “What did you do with Pop-pop?”
And without missing a beat, Zadie said:
“We had ice cream!”
I guess honesty is the best policy. At least when conspiring with a five-year old.