Friday, June 18, 2010

Raising a toddler, a parable

Once upon a time there was a lovely castle in a magical kingdom. And in this castle lived a scullery maid. She didn't dream of being a princess or finding a knight in shining armor. She was just a scullery maid and pretty happy and content.

Because this lovely castle was in a magical kingdom there were the usual comings and goings of fairy godmothers, eccentric sorcerers and the like. One day a visiting fairy wandered into the kitchen to see if there was any pudding left over after dinner. She started chatting with the scullery maid and asked her if there was anything in her life she would like changed.

The scullery maid thought for awhile - she was pretty happy - and then said "You know, there never seems to be enough chocolate around. I'd really like to have more chocolate." The fairy grinned a mischievous grin and said "I can certainly do that for you." and she offered the scullery maid a deal.

For three years the scullery maid could have chocolate in any quantity and variety she desired. There would be milk chocolate, dark chocolate, some bittersweet, even white chocolate (which some people say is not chocolate at all). The only catch was, chocolate was all the maid could eat.  "And," the fairy added, "I'll even make it nutritious. You won't get fat." The scullery maid considered the deal and eventually accepted.

At first it was wonderful! The scullery maid never imagined anything as delicious as that magical chocolate. It could be creamy and sweet or dark and rich. She even enjoyed the bitterest of the bittersweet. But some days she felt weary at the thought of eating nothing but chocolate, day in and day out. The other kitchen workers told her not to complain. Not the king, nor the princess nor even the conniving wicked stepmother ate such sumptuous fare. And, they pointed out, in three years it would all be over and she would be back to the non-magical beans and potatoes eaten by the castle servants.

Deep down the scullery maid knew they were right. And most days she thoroughly enjoyed the lovely, if limited, menu. But in other moments she thought to herself "I'd kill for a piece of cheese or a popsicle."