Chocolate and the Explorer

Whenever my mom would talk about my childhood, she would refer to me as “the wild one.” She would describe how she had to run after me all the time in order to keep me out of trouble. Despite her best efforts I remember two incidents that occurred when I was somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. Both stories are emblazoned in my memory because they had to do with my life-long obsession – chocolate.

I was busy filling up my empty ice cream cup with dirt when I decided that the brown substance I was excavating had to be my favorite food! I vividly recall fighting with myself –  ”Should I taste it? It certainly looks like chocolate! It must be chocolate!” The minute the little flat wooden tongue-depressor of a spoon reached my mouth, I knew I had made a huge mistake! I ran to my mother who was sitting nearby and she saved my life.  She took out a tissue and wiped my tongue clean. I didn’t even get sick.

The next time, I wasn’t so lucky.  As I ran down the block, way ahead of my mom, a chocolate ice cream pop caught my attention as it melted on the hot summer pavement.  It was just too good to pass up. This time my mom couldn’t save me.  As she remembered it, that evening she and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom.

These memories came alive yesterday, when we visited Ryan at his annual day care carnival.  He spent most of his time running away, looking to explore absolutelyeverything around him. We had our work cut out for us as we followed him around the campus, trying to prevent him from getting into trouble.  For the most part, we succeeded.

Even though Ryan is a conglomeration of genetic material gathered from both sides of his family, I’d gladly take the credit for his energy, spirit of discovery and efforts at independence.  (I always find it amazing that the minute the little ones are able, they try to separate from us – they strive to be on their own already!)  Since he has my hazel eyes, I’m thinking all I need is some evidence of chocoholism to claim Ryan’s behavior as “granny-nanny redux.”  That said, I’ve warned the parents to watch out for melted chocolate on the street!

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