Archive for March, 2012

Sparkle Girl and Doobins Head to IHOP

Diorama by Sparkle Girl

This column first appeared in the February issue of “Forsyth Family” magazine:

The other day, Garnet was busy, so a friend and I took the kids to IHOP for supper. When it comes to food, Doobins is not big on frills, so he ordered a plain, unembellished pancake.

Sparkle Girl loves trying new things – she asked for a fondue pot for Christmas last year – and enjoys all sorts of foods – getting her to eat fruits and vegetables was never an issue. So ordering in any restaurant is a matter of deciding what wonderful combination of tastes sounds most appealing today. After exclaiming over all the delectable possibilities, she chose a four-pancake platter of blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry compote and whipped cream.

When the plates arrived, Doobins carefully applied just the right amount of maple syrup, and the kids tucked into their treats. For Sparkle Girl, a particularly satisfying food experience often calls for pauses to smile and to comment on how fabulous her food is. About two pancakes worth in, she stopped to announce that these pancakes were so delicious that she wanted to have them for her birthday supper. “Wait,” I said. “When your mother fixed pot roast, mashed potatoes and corn the other day, didn’t you say that you wanted that for your birthday supper?”

“Oh, yeah,” she said. “I loved that dinner.”

When Sparkle Girl ordered a four-pancake platter, I fully expected her to reach capacity while pancakes and blueberries remained, so I wasn’t surprised when, about three pancakes worth in, she went in a few bites from eating with gusto to eating in slow motion to full stop.

I think I am safe in saying that, when she said, “I’m so full, I can’t eat another bite,” I noted a touch of regret in her voice. On the way to the car, she lamented about her inability to eat every tasty morsel. About halfway home, she said, “I’m all digested now.” Joking, I said, “Would you like to go back and see if they still have the rest of your pancakes?” “That would be great,” she said.

When we got home and told Garnet about Sparkle Girl now being faced with the tough choice of pot roast or blueberry pancakes for her birthday supper, Garnet pointed out that, after a restaurant meal of steak, blooming onion, and baked sweet potato glazed with brown sugar and butter, Sparkle Girl had said she wanted that for her birthday supper.

“Oh, yeah,” Sparkle Girl said. “I loved that dinner.”

Sparkle Girl’s 13th birthday arrives in February so figuring out what food treats she wants to have for her birthday was not an idle exercise. After giving the matter some thought for a day or two, she announced that she had come up with a solution. On her birthday, we could go to IHOP for breakfast, and, for supper, Garnet could fix pot roast.

“Chocolate fondue for dessert?” I asked.

“That would be good,” she said.