it was the food

Last night at dinner, the just four-year-old Ash was hesitant to finish eating actual food, because before her on the table was a very small slice of chocolate cake. As she took the tiniest of bites from her plate, she kept a keen eye on the cake, which was almost so thinly sliced that you could actually see through it. But nonetheless, it had captivated her and promised her a sweet taste sensation.

Then, almost as if an actual lightbulb flashed over her head, she paused, shifted her eyes from the cake to me and back to the cake and back to me. The wheels were indeed churning. "Mommy, I need to go to the bathroom."

She was there and back in a flash. As she approached the table, she announced, "Mommy, I think the food you gave me made my arms hurt." Then she hugged herself tight. "My arms hurt. It was the food."

"Oh no," I gasped, "not the food."

She titled her head to the side and nodded, and gave me an affirming smile. "Yup."

"Well the only cure that I know of is to not give you any more food."

Her smile faded. She looked at the cake, "No more food?"

"No more food," I said sympathetically.

"No more food," she repeated quietly to herself.

"Are you sure it was the food? Could it possibly be something else that made your arms hurt?"

She whipped her head toward me, eyes wide, mouth opened. "I don't think it was the food. No, not the food. I think..." she stated excitedly and looked at her arms where just a few days before three band-aids resided, "...I think it was the band-aids. Yes, Yes! It was the band aids that made my arms hurt."

"Phew," I said wiping my brow and looking at my plate and then at the beckoning, decadent chocolate cake. I think my arms began to hurt a little too! "I'm glad it wasn't the food."