The Banana Milk Shake – A story for children
Archith was plonked comfortably on the deck chair, eyes riveted on Cartoon Network, when daddy happened to pass by. “Sit up straight,” barked daddy. Archith, who was attempting to imitate a bag ‘o bones sat up – he warily looked at dad out of the corner of his eye. Oops! I don’t like that look in his eyes, he thought. For yes, daddy was standing there, hands on hips, looking worriedly at Archith.
“For a seven-year-old, Archith,” began dad, “You are the skinniest guy I’ve ever seen. You are just skin and bones!” Oh, oh, thought Archith, not again!
“You need to fatten up,” continued dad, “I know just the thing for it.”
“Yes,” piped up grandpa, who was sitting just behind at the dining table, enjoying a juicy ripe, yellow mango, “He needs to have banana milk shake every day. That will fatten him a bit.”
Daddy turned to look speculatively at his father. “Banana milk shake?” he mused, “Not a bad idea.”
Mamma who was passing by, was immediately roped in for her recipe. “Well,” she said, “It’s the simplest thing you could do. Some banana, some sugar and milk.”
“I’ll make it,” said dad, immediately setting off panic buttons in Mama’s head. “No, no,” she protested, “You…”
“I am going to make it,” dad was resolute.
“Don’t make a mess,” was mamma’s last weak words as Archith caught her sympathetic glance. Archith sat unmoved, but his mind raced. It was not the first time that a `Fatten Archith Programme’ had been launched. He had resisted each time and came out victorious. But it was such a bother. And it disrupted his peacefully skinny existence.
Mamma hovered around Operation Banana Milk shake. “That’s too much banana!” she exclaimed, but her protests were brushed aside. “More banana, better Archith,” she was told by no-nonsense daddy. Rolling her eyes in exasperation, she walked out even as two-year-old Advith walked in. “Banana milk shake, yum, yum,” he said. Daddy looked at him with pleasure. “I’ll give you the first glass, little fellow,” he said.
Archith’s heart sank. Advith of the food mania was the bane of his life. Even as his younger brother put away enough food to feed three Archiths, he still seemed to have space for things like banana milk shake. Yuk!
Chilled glasses filled with milkshake appeared on the table. “Taste it!” mamma was ordered. She peered into a glass doubtfully. “Isn’t it too thick?” she queried. “Is it?” dad himself, was now appearing anxious, anxious for a verdict.
Mamma hated banana milkshake herself. But she took a sip anyway, not to set a bad example. “Ummmm…” she said, after a sip. Then she put the glass down, “It’s quite delicious.”
“Gimme, gimme,” said Advith and he began slowly sipping a glassful. Archith waited for the assault.
It came immediately after. “Drink this!” A glass was shoved under his nose and daddy stood quite threateningly by the side. Archith pursed his mouth and shook his head in mute mime. What followed was familiar, with Archith refusing to drink and daddy getting quite upset and extremely hot and bothered.
Mama decided it was time to intervene. She took the offending glass of banana milk shake and dragged Archith off into his room.
“Daddy is quite upset,” she told him, “He had made the milkshake himself. Don’t you think you should taste it?”
“Mamma, please,” begged Archith, “I don’t like the look of it.”
“Well…” Mamma shrugged and set the glass down. “Give that to me,” a gruff voice said from behind. Both of them turned around. It was dad. He took the glass of milkshake and drank it up.
Mother and son looked at each other. Then Archith put his arms around his father’s legs. “Dad,” he said, hesitantly, “I love you but I don’t like milkshake.”
“It’s okay,” said dad gruffly, “But look at you, get skinnier than this and there’d be nothing left!”
Mamma looked rueful. Archith looked apologetic.
Everyone turned around to see a plump two-year-old waddle into the room with a satisfied look on his face. “Burp! Nice, daddy!”