Friday, January 06, 2006

The Trouble With Brownies

We have a brownie problem in our home. You see, we all love them. Well, our three-year-old isn't allowed to eat them due to food allergies, but the other five of us can.

So, when I baked a particularly delicious 13x9 pan of chocolate brownies with chocolate frosting on top, we had a bit of a brownie feud. Personally, I made out on the short end of this little battle for brownie territory, as I only had two rather small brownies. The sacrifices one must make as a father.

Anyhow, as of yesterday night there was one brownie left. And, much to the chagrine of my oldest son, we had allocated this brownie to my second-born. The reason was quite clear: He had been sick for a few days, and hadn't really successfully eaten any of the brownies. Yet, this same six-year-old happens to be the biggest sweets-a-holic I've ever seen. He is the one whose daily life isn't complete without obsessing about if and when dessert will be.

My eldest didn't see this as a fair deal. The reason? Well, while he had a brownie yesterday, his brother was given a strawberry shake from Mickey D's because it was pretty much the only thing that he would eat or drink given the state of his stomach ills. So, why, then, does the last brownie go to him? Isn't a shake bigger than a brownie?

No. The brownie is Jesse's. And the sulking began. But, the brownie remained, untouched, in the pan as of this morning, safe and sound behind the protection of not only a gate, but also a plastic snap-on lid.

Fast forward now. At some point, Josiah (my eldest son) opened the gate to the kitchen and left it open. That's the first problem. Later, Jesse opened the lid to the pan of brownies just to double-check it was still there. And it was.

So, my wife decided to split up our younger children, and left my daughter at the table with Color Wonder markers (you know, those magical markers that won't write on anything except the special paper) while she attended to the other one in the other room. Brilliant idea, really, because it assured she would not be able to make a mess.

But when my wife returned, she was a mess. A brown mess. Covered in chocolate. Chocolate that she obtained from the open pan of brownies left in the ungated kitchen. And the brownie? Gone. Down the hatch.

And, of course, the most horrifying thing about this whole even is not the mess my daughter made. It was having to inform poor Jesse that his brownie was no more. According to my wife, he took it rather well. But I still feel sorry for him, because eating his dessert is just about the worst thing you could ever do to him.

Then there is Josiah. Of course, he didn't get the brownie either. But he had a smugness to him...as though he felt justice had been served. Because it meant that Jesse would not get both a brownie and strawberry shake after all.

Brownies are trouble, I tell you. But, it won't stop me from making them again. After all, we all love them too much!

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