Yesterday, a kid stole Azita’s cupcake. I don’t mean that as a euphemism. Here’s how it went down.
It was a bright sunny day, and the kids were all playing outside when I pulled up to daycare to pick up my baby. “We’re having a party. We’re having a party,” shouted the older kids as they ran toward the front door to let themselves back in. After giving me a smile and a hug, Azita followed them in and ran to her seat at the table. It was clear she wasn’t leaving without a fight. I know I would put up a good fight if someone tried to drag me away from promised cupcakes. So, we stayed — Azita sitting on her little stool at the kid’s table, with me kneeling next to her on the floor.
She was so patient, waiting until all the other kids got their cupcake –some even two — before she got hers. And when she was handed her cupcake she savored it. She ate so slowly, licking the frosting and eating little nibbles of the cake while the other kids wolfed theirs down. I admit I was a little proud of how patient she was and how she ate like a civilized little grown-up. So many of us, me included, never take the time to slow down and actually enjoy our food and really taste it (more on that coming later this week). She did this naturally though, and was still working on the frosting when the other kids had finished the rest of the cupcakes.
Then it happened. Azita set down her cupcake for a sip of water. The other kids gasped, and then the fateful words were uttered. “Azita put down her cupcake! Quick! Give it to Vinny!” And within seconds the cupcake was making its way through Vinny’s digestive tract. It happened so fast that she almost didn’t know what happened. But when she looked around for her cupcake, and it wasn’t there she let out the most mournful wail. And that wail continued as we walked to the car. It continued as I buckled her in her car seat. It continued down the street and all the way home. And then to the grocery store where I just had to go to buy her a replacement cupcake.
It was heartbreaking. Even more so because I just sat there while a kid stole my kid’s cupcake. And I even said, “that’s ok” when one of the daycare providers noticed. I mean, it’s not okay, but what could I do? Every kid needs to learn sometime that bad things happen and not everyone is always nice, but did she really need to learn that at the far-from-ripe age of 16 months?
I’m still not sure what I should have done, but I guess I have time to figure it out. I’m pretty sure Azita won’t remember what I now call the “the stolen cupcake caper.” Actually, I know she won’t since she was smiling and cooing over the little slice of cake I placed in front of her not 30 minutes later. But one day she will remember. One day she’ll have to deal with mean girls and playground bullies who will do far worse than steal a cupcake. What will I do then? I honestly have no idea, and any advice is welcome. I don’t think I can figure this out on my own.