I feel like I have passed another milestone in adulthood this past weekend. It was, of course, a painful passing and taught me another lesson on the road of parenthood.
Growing up, we usually spent our summers in Boston at my grandmother’s house. Depending on the weather, etc. we would split our time between her house in Boston and her cottage on the shore. I remember being torn as to which I liked better, the cottage had the beach, a greta porch and ducks to feed. The city presented a massive house to explore, a huge yard, a terrifying basement (which I still miss, oddly), but also an added bonus. The bonus was my grandmother’s best friend, who lived across the street. She would invite me over to play cards, watch Jeopardy or just to talk.
I loved her company, learned more games than I thought possible with cards, but there was still more to enjoy, and most important as a young boy: snack time. The treat we shared during our games is simple in retrospect, but the “stuf” of legend then, ginger ale and Oreos. Two things that were not staples in our house. Soda was for special occasions, and dessert was just a once in a while thing. But, on those wonderful summer days, the rules were out the window (and my mom allowed it!).
Little did I know that the Oreos were a gateway. One you have the Oreo, you have to have the Double Stuf (were the ever called Double Stuffed or Stuft, or did I just imagine it?), and once you have the Double Stuf, you become addicted to the white stuf in the middle. No, I don’t now, nor did I then, want to know what it actually was. Safe to say, I’m probably made up of a large percentage of it, or will likely develop some condition because of it. Let’s just say I had a problem.
I eventually turned away from the Oreo, to just the Oreo stuff. I was fancy about it, mind you, not your common junkie. I would separate it delicately from the cookies with a knife, divide it up and eat it, sometimes with a fork. I would not use my teeth to scrape away at the goodness like an animal, I relished it. I grossed out my entire family (“Ew, that’s disgusting, son,” was my mother’s line, I believe), probably did a number on at least one layer of enamel on my teeth and my pancreas is likely still bitter about the whole affair. Eventually, I got off the Stuf, learned to love just the Oreo again and eventually became just a casual eater.
Despite the boys never having seen me eat an Oreo in such a fashion, we could probably recreate an 80’s drug commercial with the cookies. The boys love the Oreo, but so far, they have been casual eaters, mostly because we control their supply. C, on the other hand, has apparently inherited my problem. We were watching a movie over the weekend and the boys asked for dessert. They hadn’t hurt each other all day, the house had not shaken on its foundation in more than 24 hours and I was feeling magnanimous. Oreos for all!
I was watching the movie, but something caught my eye. C was sitting across the room, two plain chocolate cookies in is hands. I watched as he placed them to one side on top of a few others, and slowly pick up his little pile of Stuf. A glint in his eye, he gave me a wry smile and popped the entire pile into his mouth. He enjoyed his hit and went back to the movie. I sat there in a stunned silence for a minute and before I knew it, I said:
“Ew, that’s disgusting, son.”