(Photos are from dinner the last two nights and are not directly related to this story.)
We have one of those snack-box things. You know, the kind with overlapping fabric on top so the kid can reach her hand in, grab some crackers or raisins or nuts or booty, pull it out, put it in her mouth, then chuck the snack box across the car and not spill anything. You know, everyone has one and they are awesome.
My husband and I tend to be frugal. In terms of pinching pennies, yes, but something could be entirely FREE and we'd still fret over it. We are cautious about the things that enter our homes, our lives, our souls. We are conscientious of the resources and materials it took to make those things. And we are especially skeptical of plastic. Even when found used, and fully off-gassed, and PVC-BPA-phthalate-free, and totally recyclable, we are still convinced that plastic does something horrible to your soul. Anyway.
I fretted back and forth on whether or not to buy a second snack box, you know, for Hazel. I thought (hoped?) they could just share. I didn't want another snack box in our home. I didn't want to buy something that, once my kids learn to keep containers in their upright and locked position, we will no longer need. But. Juniper eats nuts, Hazel doesn't. If the snack box held Pirate's Booty, I would probably have to cut off Juniper's right hand before she passed it to Hazel. So, I bought another snack box. Our first one has a yellow lid, so I bought one with a pink lid because 1) Juniper loves pink, and 2) I was not thinking.
Of course Juniper would want the new snack box, it has a pink lid! I thought, Oh well, sorry, H. Hand-me-down-Hazel. You get the old box. Thing is, if I'd chosen the green or blue lid, I know I could have convinced Juniper the new box was Hazel's and fighting/jealousy would have been minimal. But there was NO WAY Juniper was going to give up a PINK lidded snack box to Hazel. I thought, Okay. Well, good thing Hazel is young and she won't notice. She'll just be happy to have her very own snack box.
So today, I received the new snack box. I set it on the counter next to the sink to be washed-before-use. Meanwhile, Juniper was napping and I gave Hazel some booty in the old box. She had been watching me. She ate just one piece. She waddle-walked from the living-room to the kitchen, stopped at the sink, pointed up to the counter and grunted. I played dumb and in my sweetest sugar voice, "What? You'd like a sippy cup of water?" She scrunched her nose, darting me a disgusted look that said, No, dumbass, that's not what I'm asking for. She pointed and grunted again. I sighed and handed it over. She made a satisfied chuckle, ooohed and aaahed over it and waddle-walked back to the living room, pink-lidded snack box in tow.
In my head there were two voices: 1) My uncle once told me that kids are at least 6 months ahead of where you think they are. 2) A friend who was one of 3 sisters said her parents always had to buy 3 of everything to avoid the fighting. Damn.
She knew. Hazel knew the new snack box was intended for her. She knew Juniper would love it. She knew it would piss Juniper off to take it. $&*^#!! Do I have to buy another pink-lidded snack box so my youngest doesn't think she always comes in second?
:: (On the other hand, who needs a snack box when you really use food to decorate your head?)
Update: today Juniper agreed that she and Hazel could take turns using the pink-lidded snack box. Whew.