Chocolate and Freckles

It took me only four months in the beginning of ’81 to get the correct shoe on the correct foot.  After one month of telling me to change my shoes most mornings, mom wrote an ‘L’ and an ‘R’ on the bottom of my shoes, but I still put them on the wrong foot 80% of the time because I couldn’t tell my left from my right.  She considered writing an ‘L’ and an ‘R’ on my hands when she noticed that I had a freckle on my left hand and no freckle on my right.  Just three months later, I was up to a 50% shoe accuracy rate.

Jeannene turned 4 in ’81.  She got a Doll of the World, a purple princess dress with white gloves, and a chocolate cake; a big chocolate cake with real, not whipped cream, chocolate frosting and candy pieces that said ‘Jeannene’. 

I thanked three people on her birthday:  God; that He didn’t make me a girl, so I get real presents like action figures and super-hero Underoos.  Mom; that she made a big cake.  And Jean; that she didn’t have any friends so I could get a bigger piece of cake.

Mom and dad didn't love Jean as much as me so there are no pictures from her birthdays. This is a picture of me from about '81, getting ready to enjoy my cake.

Dad cut the cake.  “Dad I want this corner piece for the extra frosting, but cut it at an angle so I can have the ‘N’ and the ‘E’ of Jeannene and the blue candle.”  I showed my dad with my hands just the type of gerrymandered piece I wanted.

Jean got a big piece because it was her birthday.  Jeff got a big piece because he was the oldest.  Jake got a big piece because he was only two and hardly any got in his mouth.  And I got the smallest piece of cake I’d ever seen, no corner, no letters.  I ate the cake from the bottom and then the glorious chocolate icing.  I held my plate back up for another piece.  Dad scoffed, but didn’t cut me another piece. 

Everybody finished and mom collected the plates.  Over half the cake was still left.  Everyone went to the living room.  CHiPs was on.  Jeff and I pretended we were on motorcycles.  Jean played with her doll and Jake crawled around. 

During a commercial break, I had to go to the bathroom.  I saw the cake.  Maybe it was the adrenaline from Ponch and John, or maybe it was that I got the smallest piece with no candies; but I forgot I had to go to the bathroom.  I didn’t grab a fork and I didn’t grab a plate.

I put my right hand on the very edge of the corner piece, the corner piece that should have been mine, and I swept it toward the three candy pieces, the ‘N’, ‘N’, and ‘E’.  I had more frosting than could fit in my hand.  I shoved it all in my mouth.  I used my left hand to clean up the chocolate at the edges of my mouth while my right hand went back to the cake.  Three-and-a-half handfuls later, just as Jeannene turned the corner of the family room, the frosting was gone.  She screamed louder than I’d ever heard her yell, “Jimmy’s eating all the frosting!”

I turned to say “No I’m not!” but I had too much frosting in my mouth and didn’t want to lose any by talking.  Dad came around the corner; looked at me and looked at the cake.  I knew a spanking was in order.  I saved some frosting in the roof of my mouth, so I could taste it while I was getting swatted.  It was worth it.

I gave Zach a taste of the beater after mom made fudge.  He smelled it, his eyes lit up, and his tongue darted out.  He reached for the beater and then he reached for the bowl, screaming somewhere between a coo and a howl.

Zach and his lizard tongue going for some fudge.

I took the beater away and placed it into the bowl.  He lunged for the bowl. 

Zach is diving for the chocolate.

I pushed the bowl away and took him into the other room.  He screamed for more chocolate.  I showed him my empty hands.  He grabbed my left hand and looked at the palm.  He turned it over, smiled, and sunk his three teeth in the back of my hand.  Open-mouthed, I felt his tongue vigorously licking my freckle.

He is my boy.

About Jimmy

The stories herein are about a sentimental 80s child who cried at every showing of ET (the sad part where he was lying in the wash) and his families, then and now. His wife, son, parents, and siblings play their parts well. They have their exits and their entrances. Sometimes their exits are sad, but not as sad as ET.
This entry was posted in fatherhood, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Chocolate and Freckles

  1. kristi gutzman says:

    You’re lucky (slobber-speaking) that you don’t have freckles on your face and arms like I do.
    Even though I would’ve made him wait until he’s one to have chocolate, it makes me smile.
    He is your boy.
    He’ll prob remember his left from right by thinking of which hand daddy always has a drop of chocolate on.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Funny tale! Just love it when they start liking things and letting you know exactly what they like!!

  3. FileSpnR says:

    Those candy letters only taste good when swiped from someone else’s cake(preferably a sibling)

  4. Mom says:

    Funny story. Was that the last time Jeanne had chocolate frosting?

  5. Dianna says:

    I always enjoy your posts, Jimmy. And they always make me smile.
    Thanks. Happy New Year to you and your family. You’re gonna be surprised at how much that little one grows this year and what he’ll learn.

  6. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    That was hilarious. What parents would leave the cake out there as temptation! Silly, silly! I’d have gone for it, too!

  7. Natalie says:

    Babies are so precious — we were very strict with our oldest ones about no chocolate til they turn one, but I see no reason for that rule anymore. And I love the picture of you with your birthday cake — you look VERY VERY excited about birthday cake. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  8. alysesjapan says:

    Haha, he’s just like you!! Thanks for reading my post. I’m glad I stopped by your site! Im going to follow your blog. I love the way you write.

    Happy new year to you and your family!

  9. I like the way you write Jimmy. You seem to have a heartfelt talent for finding words that trigger images. This one brought back memories for me of a friend in college that learned left from right from always holding his glass of milk in his left and his sandwich in his right.

  10. Just found this from you liking a post on my blog and I am crying I am laughing so hard. I can just see you standing there with all the icing crammed in your mouth, knowing you were going down for the crime and knowing it was TOTALLY worth it!!!!

  11. Irene says:

    Zach is so cute!! And yea, your bit about the frosting on the roof of your mouth reminded me of my son, the foodie.

  12. auntyuta says:

    He’s your boy all right. Lovely post. I had such fun reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. marjulo says:

    I stopped by your blog because you “liked” one of my posts. After reading this post, I had to subscribe! I love your writing and your wonderful memories. I, too, had a freckle on my right hand that helped me distinguish be right and left. Years later it was gone, but I didn’t need it anymore anyway. Now I have lots of “freckles” on my both hands–unkindly called age spots. I like to call them sun spots!

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