Friday 18 March 2022

The chocolate room

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
― John Lennon

As a young father I wanted to give my young children a real treat, something wondrous and amazing that they would never forget.

One Saturday lunchtime an idea came to mind and  I immediately announced it.

I would take them to the Cholocate Room.

Doubtless inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (book or movie, I couldn't be sure) it was full of all kinds of chocolate goodies that they could take.

They key was that they should be blindfolded, and I would take them the secret way and they would grab what they could.

And so it was.

They would be blindfolded, I carried them up and down the stairs, turned around, and again until as I imagined they did not know where they were, and then carried them down to the cellar where, while still blindfolded, they could choose whatever they wanted from the selection of chocolate that was , unbeknownst to them, continually held in front of their blindfolded face whichever way they turned.

It was a huge success. All the excitement of a real chocolate room but only needing a small stock of chocolate. All the benefit of having a secret passage in the house leading to somewhere wonderful without having to have the trouble of actually digging a secret passage, or laying out the wonderful place.

Except... I found that the wandering about with a blindfold did not confuse them as to where they were. They were smart kids, and with a sense of direction as well as a sense of the ambience of the rooms.

So what had happened? Did they imagine that they had actually been to an actual chocolate room? Or were they just imagining that they had to play along, for free chocolate?

We never went to the chocolate room again, despite multiple requests.

I want to, I long to, but if they don't actually believe that I can take them to an actual chocolate room, then what am I doing?

Am I running upstairs and downstairs as an excuse to give them free chocolate? 

If they want free chocolate, then they can find it in the cupboard.

I was looking to give them a sense of wonder and amazement. Is that what they thought they were doing for me?

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