As the mother of five boys, I learned early on that food was one of the most potent tools in my maternal manipulation arsenal. It works so much better than guilt which, studies have shown, can lose it efficacy if overused and end up costing thousands of dollars in therapy when they’re older.
Here’s a brief history of how this has worked in my family:
Age 2: “If you promise to be quiet at church, I let you have some Cheerios.”
Age 10: “If you do your homework as soon as you get home from school, you can have a couple of cookies while you’re studying.”
Age 14: “If you agree to turn off your cell phone at 9 p.m., you can have some ice cream before you go to bed.”
You get the idea.
So it should come as no surprise that when I need them to do something really big, like let me focus on jacking up my current manuscript’s word count, I fry up a pan of the one food that will make them putty in my hands.
I don’t know what it is about this greasy little piece of meat that makes their knees buckle, but it works like a charm. Given their reaction when I served up some this morning with blueberry pancakes, I could’ve probably demanded that they also rotate the tires on my car and resurface the deck.
There’s just one catch – it has to be the real thing. Bacon bits just won’t do. They don’t emit that delectable smoky scent that evokes images of sitting around a campfire on a chilly autumn morning (not that I’ve ever done that, but I’ve heard it smells just like bacon).
And then there’s the cleanup. As careful as I try to be, grease splatters every where. I did try to bake it in the oven once. Fearful I would start a grease fire, I checked it so much, I ended up doubling the cooking time. I’ll admit, while it did free up my hands and pans for other things, I was still left with a greasy oven to clean.
I have thought of getting my hands on a bacon-scented candle, but can only image the fallout. Hungry boys rushing to the kitchen, their mouths watering, until their eyes fall on the source of the scent. Crestfallen, they’d lay their big browns on me, all mopey. And then, guilt-ridden, I’d be compelled to make them whatever they wanted.
Kinda like when I lit a cookie-scented candle and they thought I had made cookies, so I ended up making a batch of snickerdoodles because I felt so bad.
Funny, though, how that was the candle they got me for Mother’s Day.
Wait a minute…