Yes, my mother cursed me with this, like most mothers do. Further proof that it worked came in the form of Rio approaching my desk today with a notebook in hand.

“I am selling food,” she said. “What do you want?”


“We do not sell pizza. We are an ice cream and veggies store.”

This sounded, to me, eerily reminiscent of Cake or Death.

“Ok, I will have ice cream. With chocolate sprinkles and cherries.”

Rio lowered her notebook and gave me The Look. The “you-must-be-joking-if-you-think-I-am-falling-for-that” look that she sees from me roughly 500 times a day.

“And what healthy thing are you going to eat before you have that ice cream?” she said, in perfect mimicry of my voice.

This was so adorable that I found myself hard-pressed not to gobble her all up on the spot. But somehow I managed to keep a straight face and order a spinach-tofu salad.