Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tonight I asked the boys if they wanted to hear some "Treesa" stories (stories from my childhood) before kissing them goodnight. They were enthusiastic. Max immediately came up with the story of "Treesa and the Bears." I said, “Treesa and the Bears?” --wracking my brain to remember any encounters I might have had with a bear or two in my youth...skunks, yes... crawdads and snakes, yes... no bears that I can remember. “Yeah,” he said, “There was a Mama Bear...? and a Baby Bear...? and you took their oatmeal…?” So, in his mind--at least for some of his childhood--his own Mama broke into a bear house, ate their porridge, and broke their furniture. I am charmed beyond words.

Their favorite story (and mine) is when Treesa, after winning a cake-baking contest against her big brother Jimmy, stuffed his losing cake in his leather church shoes because he snidely remarked he knew his cake was better than hers whether he won or not.

My beloved big brother, Jim, who is now a successful lawyer in Atlanta and a extraordinary chef, once took on his little sister in a cake baking contest. We were both in middle school and had time to kill after school before our parents got home from work. Occasionally we would make cookies, pizzas, or other miscellaneous junky and snacky foods. I don't remember how it happened but we decided to have a bake-off.

One of us was convinced he could make an amazing cake; the other knew how to read a cake recipe.

Big Brother made a two layer black-walnut cake with coconut maple brown sugar icing. Little Sister made a chocolate cake with Cool Whip wiped over the top. We decided that our mother would be the judge. After being presented with a slice from each of our cakes my mother, a natural (if not a very good) politician, said, "Well, I like Treesa's cake best because I really do like chocolate more...But Jimmy, yours is good too!"

So tonight I ask the boys, "When Jimmy made Treesa angry and she stuffed cake into his shoes, do you think Treesa got spanked?" NO! "Did Treesa have to stand in the corner?" NO! "Did Treesa get grounded from TV?" NO!

"Do you think Treesa had to clean out her brother's stinky shoes while he watched?" YES!!

Despite the genuinely disgusting nature of this (well-deserved) punishment, Treesa did have the satisfaction of telling her brother that at least his shoes smelled more like cake instead of his stinky nasty feet.
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