Monday, March 17, 2014

Our rules and their rules

I talked to Biscuit on the phone twice yesterday and twice today.

The first time, I called him around lunchtime yesterday. He went to church with Mama and Daddy, so I gave them time to get home before I called. The only problem was that they had started eating lunch just before I called.

Biscuit talked for a couple of minutes, but then said, "Um, Mom, can I hand you back to Grandmama? Grandmama made chocolate pies, and if I eat all my lunch, I can have some."

Under the circumstances, I was perfectly fine with him handing off the phone. My Mama bakes the best chocolate pies ever. Well, second to the ones Granny used to make, but who do you think taught Mama?

My brother and his family had lunch at Mama's yesterday, so Biscuit played with his cousins all afternoon. That meant he didn't get a nap, and around about 8 o'clock, he was tired out and a little weepy.

"Grandmama, I think I need to call my Mom," Biscuit said.

So I talked to him and made him laugh. That made me and him both feel better.

Then I talked to him this morning.

"What did you have for breakfast?" I asked him.

He hemmed and hawed a little bit but never answered me. And when Mama got back on the phone, I found out why.

"He had a Pop Tart for breakfast and didn't want to tell you," Mama said. "He said that he doesn't get to have Pop Tarts on weekdays, just on weekends."

It's true, but it's not as strict as it sounds.

Biscuit, like many kids his age, is a picky eater. And sometimes when I ask him about lunch, he'll tell me he had some fruit and a roll. Or some beans. Or he just tasted some things and that was it. So I feel like it's important to give him breakfast with some protein and staying power. Not exactly the stick-to-your-ribs country breakfast (because that crazy little man won't eat grits or eggs), but something fairly good for him.

But when he's at Grandmama's house, all bets are off.

Each of my Grannies made special treats for my brother and me when we visited.

My Daddy's Mama made baked sweet potatoes. She wrapped them in tin foil, and we would peel the tin foil and skins and eat them like bananas. She also had mini marshmallows and plain M&Ms. And her biscuits ... man, they were good. She had this aluminum biscuit tin that looked like a spaceship. She would line it with a dish towel, and it would hold leftover biscuits. And I would rather have one of those leftover biscuits than any kind of store-bought cookie.

At my other Granny's house, we would have tea cakes and more biscuits ... and of course, chocolate pies. I never mastered Granny's tea cakes, but Mama figured out the pie recipe and has passed it down. As for the tea cakes, Granny kept them in a big cut-glass cookie jar. She would be on the back porch, and my brother and I would sneak in to get some. It took us forever to figure out how she could tell we were in the jar. Looking back on it, it's hard to imagine how she wouldn't hear that glass lid rattling against the glass jar.

My Mama never cared how our grandparents spoiled us. And I'm following suit with Biscuit. When he's with his grandparents, they call the shots.

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