Have you ever accidentally made a promise to a toddler that you couldn’t keep? I think it happens to most of us – things often don’t go quite as planned when you’re dealing with little people and feeling a bit frazzled. Luckily, as parents, we get quite skilled at thinking on our feet to get ourselves out of it though.
I found myself in this situation with my two-year-old the other day. It started when we’d just dropped his big brother off somewhere and were getting back into the car. He was wriggly, the weather was foul and rain was slashing in my face as I battled to strap him into his car seat – so naturally he decided it was the perfect time to strike up a conversation:
Him: (enthusiastically pointing) “Mummy, we go this way!”
Me: (not really concentrating given ‘wind and rain in face’ situation) “Yes, ok we’ll go that way.”
Him: (sensing my weakness) “Yay! we go that way… and get a polar bear?”
Me: (confused) “A polar bear?”
Him: (as if it was my suggestion): “A polar bear?! What a good idea! Hooray! Let’s get a polar bear!”
Me: “Ummm, poppet I’m not sure we can get a polar bear… ”
Him: (adamant) “We get a polar bear, you SAID we get a polar bear!”
Me: “Well, no I didn’t actually, I’m not sure where we’d even find a polar bear, we’re actually just going home now.”
Him: (suddenly furious) “No! We NOT going home! WE. GETTING. A. POLAR. BEAR!”
Me: (trying to salvage the situation) “We’re not, but oooh! I know… why don’t we go home and make polar bear BISCUITS? You love biscuits! POLAR BEAR biscuits. BISCUITS! *thinks if I say polar bear and biscuits enough times maybe I can win this one*
Him: “Ok, yay! We make polar bear biscuits!”
Me *thinks* Phew, got out of that one. *pats self on back*
My self-satisfaction didn’t last long though when we got home and couldn’t find the polar bear biscuit cutter. Which is because we’ve never actually owned a polar bear biscuit cutter. Dur.
Never mind I thought breezily, we’ll just make biscuit dough and shape it into polar bear shapes freestyle, who needs a cutter anyway? Cutters are for wimps!
Oh, but then it turned out we didn’t have enough sugar to make biscuits of any kind. I suppose I could have gone out to buy some (I could even have bought a polar bear cutter at the same time – if they exist) but remember that driving wind and rain I mentioned? There had to be a better solution…
Jam tarts! Made with sugar-free dough and plenty of strawberry jam (some recipes include sugar but the jam is quite sweet enough in my opinion).
And you know how I sold these distinctly un polar-bear-shaped treats to him? I just told him that jam tarts were “the sort of biscuits polar bears love to eat!”
He loved them: they were delicious and no one had to go out in the rain.
Or find space to house a polar bear.