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I hate candy



Not really. I love candy. Too much.

So do my kids.

The scene this morning involved two small children who managed to regain control of their loot and booty from last night's Halloween extravaganza. As we walked back home from "tick or teet" desperate women shoved more candy at us, "You must take it all, I can't have ANY left."

Trust me...them eating the remaining candy is far less detrimental than my kids having access to two more laffy taffy bars and six more lollipops.

But who is going to be the big bad wolf and say that out loud, where at least six shocked eyes would have bored me down into the ground where a party buzz kill like me belongs. Not me. I demurred, they insisted, and I caved, mainly because my dogs were barking from all the walking (and carrying of small children who got tired legs but wouldn't ride int he stroller) and my head was ringing from all the screams.

So home we came with two large bag fulls of candy, the exact equivalent of candy, as it happens, that I emptied out last night.

Or rather, that emptied out itself.

Yes, I am the lady who sets her trick or treat bucket full of candy on her front stoop and LEAVES. I trust in the honor of my fellow trick-or-treating candy-eater.

Hey, I want to walk my kids around and go to my friends' cul-de-sac party. So we did. And we all had a blast.

Until this morning, when the kids, as I mentioned, regained control of the booty.

My first mistake was taking a shower and leaving my husband and kids to their own devices. I got out of the shower, and was surprised to see my husband standing at the sink styling his hair.

"Where are the kids?" I asked, first thing. Not good morning. No sweet kisses. No affection. No pleasantries. Just a demand.

"They're downstairs," he told me.

I listened for the sound of glass breaking, windows shattering, doors banging...but it was silent.

I quirked my brow quizzically (not really, but my facial expression was the equivalent).

He shrugged.

"What are they..." I started to ask, then heard wild giggles and laughter.

Although this should warm the cockles of my mother's heart---isn't that the Hallmark version of parenting? Loving the laughs and pitter patter of little feet?---instead it sends frissons of fear up and down my spine.

"They found the candy," my husband said, smiling, "That's why they are so quiet and happy."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????

WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!

You LET them get CANDY and LEFT THEM ALONE WITH IT?!?!?!?!

Honey, I love you but I'm revoking your parenting license, and resubmitting you to Parenting Ed. You're back to a Learner's Permit and must parent with another licensed grown-up at all times.

I ran downstairs.

They had dumped all the candy out in the OFFICE of all places. The carpet was littered with nerds, licked lollipops, opened taffy with one bite gone, chocolate bars half eaten and dropped and on and on...all stuck to and staining the carpet.

Good morning Vietnam.

I figured FEMA would be no help to me whatsoever, since they have never been any help to me whatsoever (aside from little love notes during floods, famines, and natural disasters reminding me that they exist and are here to NOT help me) so I knew the cleanup was all mine.

My husband trailed me down the stairs and surveyed the mess, "Wow, what a disaster zone," he said, helpfully. "Well, ladies, I have to go to work, bye!"

We spent---and I'm not kidding---forty-five minutes cleaning up that candy mess, dealing with children's tantrums as I snatched candy out of their hands and cleaned their messy little faces, scrubbing the carpet in between.

Then I dealt with hyper candy-high children (who must bear a remarkable resemblance to meth addicts) all morning, as we attempted to get ready for school.

My sister called and heard Banshee Deux, flying and shrieking around the kitchen in crazed, maniacal circles. The animals hid. I was trying to make lunches and settle the kids down to a real breakfast. Something with no sugar and lots, and lots of protein.

My sister said, "OMG, your two are the equivalent of my four, although, maybe just the little one...we are SO never trading kids."

In our defense, they were high on sugar. Which I realize is no defense whatsoever.

But I knew I had better start practicing my story and apologies for the teachers.

Using my superhuman mommy strength I somehow managed to get two demented children dressed, washed, brushed and loaded into the car, including getting Banshee Un's homework finished (which she did remarkably well...maybe a little mania is good for her sometimes, sure seems to motivate her).

And as we drove...they crashed. Oh yes, the pain of the fall after the high.

"Mom, my tummy feels...funny, I feel funny," Patience whined.

The little one had nothing to say, except snores. She was sawing some serious lumber in the backseat. California redwoods at a guess. Patience was sawing something else. Cheese if you must know.

"Have you decided about the candy?" I asked Patience, hanging my head out the window like a dog. "What you want to do?"

"Yes," she said, "You can have it all. I'll trade it all for a toy." She groaned, "No more candy."

Good child.

We arrived at school and proceeded to unload. Patience was nearing normal, and I was sure leaving the windows down would help de-fumigate the car back to normal too. Persistence was out. Still.

She slept all the way into the school. She slept through the chaos and noise. She slept through dropping off her sister, and a chat with her sister's teacher. She slept through me arriving at her classroom and talking to three other moms. She slept through walking into her class. She slept through me setting her down in her class. She slept through other children walking up to poke her, call her name, and pull on her, curiously.

The teacher told me, regretfully, "I'm sorry but we can't accept a sleeping child."

I looked at my watch 20-25 minutes out. Power nap. She'd be fine, so I woke her. The teacher took her, and they sat to read books, so I escaped.

There must be a candy-a-holic gene.

I have to protect them. I say lovingly and not at all selfishly.

The candy...it is gone. I say happily, and relivedly.

By Julie Pippert
Artful Media Group
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© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.

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Comments

Anonymous said…
He gave them unrestrained access to the candy. Wow. But maybe it's a kind of inoculation? All for the best, right?

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