At last night's Icecream Adventures, Lily was digging away at her special icecream reward but toward the end was slowing down. 'My tummy's feeling very full', she said. 'Oh?' I replied. Secretly thrilled because I have always encouraged her to listen to her tummy when she is eating. I've aimed to be pretty intentional and conscious of the food messages and eating-for-life skills I am building in my children (that could be a whole other post!), and one of them is to listen to what your tummy is telling you, trying to help them guard against mindless eating or stuffing themselves silly. 'Well, I said casually, 'it's up to you. You can eat it all now, or if your tummy is saying it's a bit full, we can take it home and you can have the rest tomorrow.'
She glanced down at this rather rare treat of delicious icecream - a definite 'sometimes' food.
'I think my tummy is feeling not very full now actually.' she said.
'Well, that's fine, you can eat it all now if you want.' I assured her. 'Or you can save the rest for tomorrow. It's up to you, it's your icecream.'
'Um... (torn, oh, so very torn), Well, my tummy is feeling pretty full. I'm gonna save it. When can I eat it??'
'After lunch tomorrow' I assured her. Playing it oh so cool but secretly stoked to see her self-control, her ability to save something and delay gratification, her ability to not gorge herself on a sweet treat just because it was freely available. You go, baby girl!
So today after lunch, she eagerly retrieved her icecream from the freezer. Well, she had been 'just checking on it' every 30 minutes, allllll morning! ;)
Of course eagle-eyed baby brother spotted it instantly. Uhoh! Here comes the begging!
'Lily, that icecream was from your special outing reward for stopping sucking your thumb, and you saved it. You can choose whether to share it with your brother or not'. As much as I encourage (and sometimes insist) on my children sharing with each other, I felt like this was something she had the right to keep to herself (especially as she has been missing out on all Eli's potty training rewards).
What three year old would share her precious and limited supply of icecream?
She had only a little left, and she gave most of it to her beloved little brother. Happily, willingly, selflessly. He gobbled it up like a baby bird till she showed him none was left.
Love her generous little heart...love everything in and about her...