We reside in a tax-free country, but the little dictator in our house didn’t get the memo. Since Baby A started walking and rapidly expanding her dietary horizons, all food consumed by anyone in her vicinity is taxed. The tax rate is variable and so is the tax period. Sometimes you may be asked to hand over all of your edibles. On those other fortunate occasions when only a fraction is taken, if you do not finish the remainder in the 10 seconds it takes her to make a round of the house and come back to you, your property will be liable for tax again.
Baby A’s daddy has a particular fondness for digestive biscuits, which Baby A has inherited. She only has to catch a glimpse of the biscuit in her dad’s hand, and she will drop whatever shes doing, waddle over to him at full speed, open her mouth wide and shout ‘Aaaaaaaaaa’. My husband has employed several tax evasion techniques in the last few months, including but not limited to hiding the biscuit in a wad of tissue papers, misrepresenting the quantity of biscuits he is eating and just eating them out of the jar huddled over the kitchen counter. As he has discovered time and time again, tax evasion is not a crime taken lightly under the dictatorship of Baby A. Punishment is handed out at the discretion of the little one and can vary from being on the receiving end of loud noises that sound similar to crying to being subjected to the death stare and cold shoulder combo for an arbitrary period of time.
Under the rule of Baby A, the nation of little belly has been running a day-on-day surplus. Sometimes even though the treasury is full to the brim, space can be found to store the collections. Just this morning, Baby A finished a whole breakfast of pancakes, but about 5 minutes later, she was standing mouth wide open, screaming ‘Aaaaaaaa’ at her dad and his bowl of cereal.
Sometimes Baby A likes to venture out of her lands and conquer new territories only for tax purposes. She had accompanied me to a dinner at my boss’ house and half an hour in, had claimed the place as hers. After that, everything was fair play. She waddled over authoritatively to my boss as he was eating a bowl of yogurt, opened her mouth wide and made her customary ‘Aaaaa’ sound. In the few seconds that it took him to turn to me to ask if it was okay for him to share his food with her, she had grabbed his hand and shoved the spoon in her mouth. I guess we’re not going to be invited over again.
The tax regime is not limited to adults and is in fact administered more authoritatively on peers. A few weeks ago, we were at a baby shower and all the parents had congregated on a rug to feed their little ones. Baby A was seated next to a boy a few months older than her and spying one too many chicken fingers on his plate, she dove in, grabbed one in each hand and deposited a large chunk into the belly bank before I even realized what was happening.
One would hope that adult food and drink would be exempt, but clearly Baby A did not put enough thought into the tax laws. It is near impossible to drink a cup of tea with Baby A patrolling the corridors. The cup is inevitably spotted and results in either the contents quickly being chucked down the drain by mommy, or somebody throwing a tantrum (which one of us that is, I leave to your imagination).
On that note, Baby A is here and would like a bite of the laptop…