Archive for July, 2008

Nutella and the Exercise Ball


Today’s picture is another special guest appearance by Sparkle Girl.

Mr. Doobins believes in starting his day with a treat. Many days, that is milk with Ovaltine, or Ovaltine Milk, as he calls it. (He calls plain milk Pure White Milk.)

If the cupboard has other treat possibilities, he may choose something more extravagant, such as M&M’s topped with a Hershey’s Kiss.

Recently, Garnet rediscovered the hazelnut-and-chocolate spread that goes by the name of Nutella. So, these days, that is often one of the possibilities.

Mr. Doobins likes Nutella quite a bit.

The other morning, he came into the kitchen and said to Garnet, “I want some Nutella. Nutella would make me happy.”

Garnet, who told me the story later, said that something about the way he said it struck her the wrong way, and she embarked on a lecture that included such memorable lines as “We eat food to support our bodies, not to support our emotions.”

Mind you, this is a woman who routinely starts her day by taking a spoon laden with Nutella, dipping it into her morning coffee, licking away the outer layer, sighing contentedly and repeating the process until the spoon is bare.

Garnet freely admits that she got carried away. As she confessed later, “I gassed off for a good long while.”

To no avail apparently. Garnet said that, when she was done, Doobins looked at her and said, “Momma, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Could I have some Nutella?”

She gave it to him.

I, too, have been doing a bit of bootless lecturing.

After Garnet’s back went out, we got her one of those exercise balls so that she could sit on it and do gentle movements designed to make things better.

The kids treat it like a toy. They like to roll across the top of it and do assorted stunts. Where they see fun, I see reckless maneuvers that could mean cracked heads.

So, time and again, I have been calling a stop to the action to issue a stern lecture about the importance of taking care when playing on the ball. The time that Sparkle Girl’s head came within inches of the edge of a desk that could have smashed her front teeth prompted a particularly heated one.

I’m not reaching my audience.

When I checked in on Garnet from work the other day, she said that, after playing on the ball for quite some time, Sparkle Girl had said, “I like to play on the ball as much as I possibly can when Kim is not here because he doesn’t yell at me nearly as much when he’s not here.”

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