Here’s the (utterly inappropriate) song reference.
Whipped cream, the kind that comes in a can, is a very big deal to the kids on my husband’s side of the family. I remember one of the first family dinners I attended featured a dessert that involved the yummy stuff, and Niece, who was not quite four years old at the time, rushed over to Zio to get a little “spruff” (Italian for froth) sprayed directly into her mouth. Having received the coveted treat, she scampered off, giggling, only to return for another helping a few minutes later.
Niece was greatly delighted when Bugaboo reached an age where she was permitted to have a little whipped cream of her own. Whenever there is dinner at Deedaw’s, and whipped cream is present, there appears a line of little opened mouths (and one no longer so little, as Niece is now thirteen), anxiously awaiting their spray. The smaller they are, the messier this enterprise becomes, but it is always conducted with great good humor and no small amount of laughter from the children and adults alike.
Deedaw decided to come over to our house for dinner this evening, and, in spite of my usual insistence that she didn’t need to bring anything but her beautiful self, she arrived bearing a bag with the makings of strawberry shortcakes. We had a chuckle as we realized that, given the family sweet tooth, there was a pretty strong possibility that all four members of the tribe would find some way to finagle not only one of the chocolate-filled, chocolate-frosted cupcakes we’d baked that afternoon, but also a decent helping of sugared strawberries and spruff.
It was one of those rare and blessed evenings where not one child decided to argue about the necessity of eating everything on his or her plate, and thus, when the dishes were cleared away, everyone was deemed eligible for dessert. Out came the pan of cupcakes, the angel food cake, the tub of sugared strawberries, and, wonder of wonders, the tall metal can of whipped cream. Before Manie could even get the cap off the can, he was surrounded by what looked like a convention of the world’s largest, featherless baby birds, all vocalizing wordlessly their desires for the contents of said can.
In deference to Deedaw, we did make an effort to ascertain who wanted which type of dessert before we went wild with the spruff. Since Deedaw had expressed a preference for strawberry shortcake, we made sure she had a plate properly piled with cake, berries, and whipped cream before we risked touching the nozzle to any tiny mouths. As they waited, Baby Guy, Mr. Man, and Beanie tucked into cupcakes, while Bugaboo daintily nibbled at some berries and cake.
Baby Guy’s manual dexterity still has considerable room for improvement, but, at almost 22 months of age, he has concluded that the absolute best part of any cake is the frosting. If there is frosting inside and outside (as is the case with filled cupcakes), so much the better, and every fleck of frosting must needs be enjoyed by as many of his five senses as possible.
And why, yes, we did have spaghetti for dinner.
He also managed to score a couple of strawberries to accompany his chocolate, all the while madly flailing his chubby little arms, trying to attract the attention of the holder of the whipped cream can — in this instance, Manie. He finally succeeding in convincing Manie to circumnavigate the kitchen table (no mean feat when there are seven people seated thereat), and opened his mouth wide in anticipation. He actually got a couple of mouthfuls, because we were trying to get a good picture. Fortunate son. Of course, Manie being the fair-minded Dad that he is, he made it a point to even up the whipped cream distribution after the camera had been put away.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for little blessings who derive great joy from the simplest of things when delivered by loving hearts and loving hands. Thank You for the opportunity for Manie to bottle the very last batch of Nonno’s wine with Bugaboo, just as he and his brother bottled it with Nonno when they were little children. Please help us teach Your blessings that Your bounty is endless, and that it is far better to exult in a can of whipped cream and the company of family than to complain about those worldly goods or experiences we wish we had. We would show them the joy in our humble, everyday life, Lord; please inflame our hearts with the grace to revel in Your bounty, instead of wishing we had the bounty of another. Grant, we pray, that we may always find joy and a stronger faith in the little things.