Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Friday, May 4, 2012

C'ava Bite?


Want some?
My parents were very conscious of teaching us proper manners.
Starting at an early age.
There were ongoing lessons on ‘Please’ and ‘Thank-you’.
The difference between our ‘Inside voice’ and our ‘Outside voice’.
Being polite and respectful to others, especially other adults.
Offering aid when needed.
Being kind.
Oh, and sharing.
Dad had a very unique method of teaching this last aspect.
He would ask for a bite of something.
Usually something delicious that was being rapidly and happily consumed.
I should mention, here, that travels with my Dad were punctuated periodically by stops for the potty.
And treats.
Usually chocolate bars and pop.
A health food nut, he wasn’t.
Moving on . . .
Inevitably, once the frantic tearing of paper wrappers had ceased, Dad would approach whichever child was sitting closest.
The exchange went something like this . . .
Dad: “Oh, that looks good!”
Child: Hesitant nodding.
Dad: “Would you like to share with Daddy?”
Now here is where it got tricky.
The child never really wanted to share.
But this was Dad.
The man who had just provided the entire delicacy.
Perhaps sharing a tiny bit with him would be okay.
Hand, clutching said treat was cautiously extended.
Whereupon (good word) Dad would take a small bite.
Child went happily back to eating and Dad would consider the lesson on sharing well learned.
But sometimes, like all potential teaching moments, his lesson backfired.
The exchange then went something like this . . .
Dad: “Would you like to share with Daddy?”
Child’s hand extends what had only recently been a pristine bar of deliciousness.
And which now was a lump of goo.
Dad: “That’s okay. I don’t need a bite.”
Child happily goes back to eating.
The funny thing about this lesson was the fact that the Adult was the one learning.
What is the saying about teaching ‘old dogs’?
Case in point. Many, many years into the future . . .
My son was eating a chocolate bar.
I use this term lightly.
The liberal coating of chocolate on face, arms and clothing should have given ample warning.
But Grampa leaned toward him anyway. “Would you like to share with Grampa?”
My son held out his hand.
There was no discernible difference between fingers and actual chocolate bar.
My Dad stared at the proffered hand and smiled, with difficulty.
“That’s okay. Grampa doesn’t want a bite.”
The lesson? Sometimes, sharing is painful.
For the shar-ee as well as for the shar-er.
Some lessons take a long time to get through. 


7 comments:

  1. The little ones with the gobiest messes are always the ones willing to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have much, but what I have, I'll give to you!!!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  3. awww lol
    Gooey little fingers
    I love them. lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. Too funny! This happens at our house too. Orr version: the adult asks for some of the treasured treat, the child offers, and the adult generously says: "Oh it's okay! All for you, sweetie!" Everyone is now happy.
    Blessings,
    Ann

    ReplyDelete

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