This is one of those purely anecdotal posts lacking photos and if you don't know me or don't appreciate stories involving dining out with toddlers then you may decline to read.
So be it.
Elsa and I dined with Grammy and Gramps at a chain establishment I fondly refer to as the Crack Shack. Elsa says Cracky Berra. You may know it as Cracker Barrel. No doubt she loves it for the toys, lollipops, and candies.
Their saltines are above average believe it or not. And the sourdough bread has always satisfied me. Oh, and then their biscuits are awesome. And quite frankly I don't think anyone beats their pancakes and there are plethora of pancake pantry places in the region down near Pigeon Forge/Sevierville/Gatlinburg. So unfortunately I've sampled a fair number of pancakes to know what I'm talking about.
Anyway. Elsa will be two and a half next month. We're working on table manners. When she finishes eating she looks at me and says "Go bye bye."
And I show her I'm not finished, that Grammy and Gramps aren't finished. I tell her "Don't be rude." I remind her about table manners. There is so much to teach children; it requires regular reinforcement.
My words must have sounded like Pig Latin to her. She balked. She whimpered. Then her lip trembled and she cried. I whispered for her to stop. That didn't work.
But then I offered her a biscuit. She hadn't had one yet. No. But then I offered the apple butter. She never tired it before. She dipped an index finger in, tasted, and yum! She was all smiles.
Appy buddy!! She dipped it out of the container with a spoon and was much happier for it.
Obviously I'm one of those parents who placates their children with food. I'm not thrilled to manipulate her in such a manner. Yet the French serve their children wine with meals. That is how French children last so long at the table at leisurely meals. We all have our strategies. Apple butter worked for me tonight. It may be a one trick pony.