Uh oh. You hear that? The wailing has stopped. Mother has risen from her tantrum and she is coming this way. She must smell your ice cream. Mother smells your ice cream, and she will not stop tracking the scent until she finds it. This is not good.
Remain calm, you’ve been through this before. You’ve baby-proofed the house so she can no longer rip out the doorknobs or leap from the windows. You’ve locked yourself in the bathroom to establish a barrier. But still. You must be cautious. Mother has caught the scent of your ice cream, and you can hear her scuttling about upstairs, her bare feet slapping against the hardwood as she emerges from her garret, sniffs her way down the hall and towards the stairs. She clacks her teeth with excitement.
Mother’s nose is like a bloodhound’s, and the scent of ice cream leaves her riled for days. She’s too frightened by the noise the ice machine makes to go to the freezer and get ice cream for herself. She must wait until you have some, then she strikes.
She’s getting closer. You hear her briefly pause to sniff an electrical outlet, then she howls with disgust. The patter of her feet resumes, and a chill goes down your spine. She’s getting closer. You hurry to eat your ice cream while you can.
There is a loud shriek, followed by violent commotion. In her eagerness, Mother has tumbled down the stairs in a pitiful heap, buying you precious time. You dare not go help her, as the smell of ice cream is already on your breath, and she would surely scratch you. You are safer where you are.
What’s curious is that Mother doesn’t even like the taste of ice cream. She sniffs it until it completely melts, then pours it down the drain. But the scent—the scent just does something to her. She becomes…something else. Something you don’t recognize. Once she catches a whiff of ice cream, she will not be deterred, not even by the can of pennies you usually shake to scare her off. It is not the Mother you know and love.
She has recovered from her fall and is now frantically crab-walking towards the bathroom. Her sniffing intensifies as she zeroes in on the ice cream. Panicked, you gulp down one heaping spoonful after another, but even if you finish, it will not matter. Mother has caught the scent, and it has possessed her. She is coming.
The floorboards just outside the door are creaking. Mother has arrived, and she is not leaving without ice cream. As you rush to finish the last few bites, she begins to moan and spin impatiently. She huffs her nostrils through the crack in the door, producing steam and condensation like breath in the dead of winter, even though the house is warm.
You eat as fast as you can, but it isn’t fast enough. There is a great and terrible thud, followed seconds later by another, then another. She is curling up into a cannonball and throwing all of her weight at the door, desperately trying to break through. She is sick with yearning for the ice cream, unaware that you have just taken the last bite.
There’s a little bit of melt in the bowl that you can’t get with your spoon. Perhaps you could give it to her. Probably wouldn’t do any harm. At the very least you can let her smell the bowl. Mother loves to smell the bowl.
You crack open the door just enough to slip the bowl outside, and Mother screams with delight. You hear her crouch down and take a quick cautious sniff, making sure it’s not a trap. All clear. She then indulges herself with three more deep sniffs, letting the ice cream scent permeate every particle of her nostrils. Satisfied, she hurls the bowl against the wall and goes on her way, scooting her rear across the floor as she hastily returns to her garret. All is calm.
There is no greater joy than seeing Mother happy, and after today she will surely be grinning for weeks. Well done. Mother loves you very much. What a good child you are.