For my niece – happy 21st!
I remember that sandwich like it was yesterday.
You were on holidays with your family
Visiting your uncle
who lived next door to us back then.
Your folk had to go out.
We offered to babysit your toddler self.
Reluctantly they agreed.
Accompanied by dire warnings.
You see they knew you well.
Already back then you had acquired quite a reputation.
Don’t worry, we said, we’ll be fine.
After your bubble bath in our kitchen sink
supervised by your cousin Christopher
you announced you were hungry.
I gave you a few choices.
Keep it simple, I thought.
She’s just a toddler.
You settled on a sandwich
with a list of fillings you just had to have.
Are you sure, I asked.
That seems a bit weird.
You insisted it was the very right thing.
It was delicious.
And mummy had made it for you before.
(somehow I doubted that …)
And yes, you said, you would eat it all up.
Negotiations complete, I made the sandwich
Watched closely by you.
I watched with interest as you took the first bite.
To be honest, I expected you to spit it out.
Your face screwed up a bit.
Like it was yukky tasting medicine.
You saw me watching you.
I guess you remembered your promise.
Is it nice, I asked.
You slowly nodded yes.
But your face told a very different story.
To your credit you ate every last crumb
of that sandwich.
I was impressed.
When you had finished
I offered to make you another one.
Very politely, you said, no thank you.
I doubt you have ever had another
Chicken, cheese, jam and vegemite sandwich.