Friday, October 21, 2011

Hot Cocoa anyone? Taking the heat out of it…

The weather has gotten colder, and as the Fall sets in, I turn back to my comfort staples of Herbal tea and occasional Hot Chocolate. It is rare from October through April not to find my tea kettle a-boiling on my stove top.

Hot Chocolate took a whole new meaning for me around October of last year.
The word “Cocoa” became a battlefield that my teen loved to set up with landmines.

You see, Cocoa in English means, Hot steamy chocolate. Possibly enhanced with marshmallow’s or flavors. To wealthy people it is perhaps a perfume, clothing brand, or Courtney Cox’s daughters name….

In Kreyole,”Cocoa” is the equivalent to calling a woman the “C” word.
(like the body part)
Yep, I know.
Oddly weird, depressing, and quite possibly I have now ruined the word “Cocoa” for you,F.O.R.E.V.E.R,sorry about that.

Well. Just. You. Wait.

One day when we were establishing new language, and sharing slang language in English and Kreyole, this little gem was uncovered, backlogged to be used as fodder for a later date…

And a later date arrived. At church when I went to pick her up out of her Sunday School class, and asked “Are you ready little darlin’?”
She answered “Yes my little Cocoa”.
Pure awesomeness.

We were speaking in code. I knew what she was doing and saying, and yet she knew I would not call her on it in public.

The gauntlet was tossed, and if you know me, I don’t do well with passive aggressive ANYTHING.

The rest of the week in public, she used my sweet new little nickname as often as possible…shocked and dismayed at the ineffectiveness it was having.

I was hoping she would get bord and drop it.

This is much like waiting for a Steaming cup of Hot Chocolate to cool, by itself, leaving it on the counter top and checking in on it… but this Mama, isn’t the wait-and-see-and maybe-it-will-cool-off kinda girl. (Patience is NOT a strong suit...hey I'm working on it.)

Did she drop it?

Daily with out fail the anty was upped and I was officially” the Cocoa.”

One sleepless night a plan popped into my head “Eureka”. The next day I was preparing to teach my sweet darlin’ daughter and the Young Woman in her church youth group how to decorate Cupcakes in my home…

The next night as I had expected, in walks my sweetie, and five of her friends. I get a side hug and a “Hey Cocoa” how’s it going?”

I replied “Great.’

As we finished decorating and licking frosting off our fingers , I was asked, “Mom, do we get to eat some of these, or are we having another snack?”

As I smiled graciously I relplied,”Sure are sweetie,and we are having some…………….. Hot Cocoa.”

“Would you girls like your Cocoa hot, or would you like it cold?
I could blend your Cocoa with ice. I have syrups , so you can have flavored Hot Cocoa if you would like, or you could just have some plain old Cocoa,…it’s really up to you”.
“I mean , who doesn’t LOVE Hot steaming Cocoa, right Papillion?”

I probably said the word Cocoa over 75 times that night.
I killed the word Cocoa…I didn’t wait for it to cool off, I doused that bad boy with cold milk, and then tossed some ice cubes in for good measure….

I stole the Cocoa’s power.

Sometimes there are battles, gauntlets thrown and we need to have patience and let it just cool down on the counter top…there are also times we can and should desensitize and water down the power and control our special needs kids toss out at us.

That night not only did I lose my fabulous nickname, but I also saw some love and RESPECT in my daughters eyes as she recognized, this whole time, I wasn’t taking her crap. I wasn’t loosening her boundaries, I was playfully “bringing it” with a round of her own medicine…and with the gleam of “Touché” in her eyes, the girls left, we cleaned up the kitchen side by side, and rinsed out our mugs….


  1. Great story. Just like something someone in our house would do if she had the opporunity. She made the connection the other day that the Russian word for "how" is "kak" and, of course if you say that out loud in English eyes would raise. So the other day as we stood at a counter and she "innocently" asked me how to say it, as though she'd forgotten. Sure.....

  2. ...and you could have cocoa puffs for breakfast...

  3. I had to read this one out loud to my sister. Too funny. As usual, you inspire me, sister. :)


  4. you are an inspiration for sure - I love the way you seem to be able to keep your kids thinking (and I know it has to be exhausting). How sad that we have so much love to give and we have these little people (and not so little people) in our lives that can't or won't let us do it. Keep cultivating distance - your littles need you!

  5. You handled that beautifully and I think you are a genius. I have a passive-aggressive child and he is hard to keep up with. I almost prefer the full fledged rage from my others.

  6. My daughter has recently begun with these kinds of passive aggressive games. It's all games, all the time with her. I could see her doing this very thing.