As some of you readers may know, dinner times are almost a ceremonial like time for us everyday. We all look forward to congregate at our dinner table and EAT! Our family loves to eat and we eat with speed. We can finish a three course meal in less than 10 minutes even though it took one hour to cook and then another thirty minutes to clean the dishes. My son is well known as a very messy eater. If a stranger walks in to our home, they would immediately know who sits where at the dinner table. We are an Asian family and one constant food that we consume almost everyday is rice. Rice is sticky and it can get very messy. My son is a great rice lover and in fact we can foresee that his future wife must know at least how to cook rice which means the girl would most likely be Asian. My son would always finish his rice first, ask for more then starts on his veggies and meat.
From my other blog site, www.patientking.blogspot.com, I have stated the fact that my son has a weird habit of stopping in the middle of a meal and goes to the bathroom to make a deposit. Well he does that and the result is a trail of rice all over the place. I mean it's rice rice everywhere!! I decided to resolve this dilemma by telling him a sort of traditional story with a little twist. One night, during story time before bed, we were sitting at our regular reading spot next to his bed. Our home is carpeted so it's very comfortable sitting on the carpet floor. As I start to read the book, I notice a speck of dry up rice on the carpet. I told my son to take a look and ask him where did the rice come from. He said, he didn't know. I told him it's because you don't clean or pad yourself down each time after the meal and you leave a trail of rice. If the rice don't get picked up, then it will dry up like this one and then guess what will happen.
My son looked at me with his innocent big brown eyes and said, "what daddy..what!?" "Remember the book about ants..the ones with big shinny smiley teeth, they love rice. Do you want them to come here at night because they can smell rice all over this place and mistaken you for a big pellet of rice and carry you away? so what must we do each time after a meal or if we still see a little piece of rice on the floor?" My son stopped for a second and had a little uncomfortable distress look on his face and began to say, "I have to pick up the rice and throw it away". I told him that's right! son. Well the story didn't end there, that night my son had a hard time falling asleep. We thought it was just him being a boy full of energy. He just simply refused to go to sleep. Finally, after a few hours of battling, he finally falls asleep.
Around 3 am that morning, I was awaken by a strange noise. I went out to look around and found my little guy looking at the floor very attentively with great care as if he was looking for a lost contact lens. I ask him, "son! why aren't you asleep. It's still dark outside." He said to me, "daddy... I don't want to get carried away by the ants. They have shinny big teeth! so I don't want no more rice here".. I just gave him a smile and said to him, it's OK, if the ants come, they will carry your mommy away first since she knows how to cook the rice." He looked at me with such relief on his eyes and almost instantaneously fell asleep on the carpet floor. Around 8 am he woke up and immediately came into our room to make sure Mommy was still around.
I remember my dad told me a similar story except it was a giant gross looking bad dragon instead of ants. It was a lot scarrier and I was up several nights!