It was 3 pm. I hadn’t seen my smallish, 11 year old, male offspring since we arrived this morning at the property that my husband manages. I wasn’t overly concerned by this fact, though. Everyone knows everyone in the community, watches out for each other’s kids, and adores all of ours. He’s made friends with most of the kids that live there, and is likely off playing video games with one of them. Someone will have fed him by this late in the afternoon, too. So, I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the day, and getting a lot accomplished in the apartment I was painting. That is until my husband gifted me with…a slushie.
I had no sooner taken a sip of the sweet frozen yumminess, when I spy the boy bopping by the kitchen window, mere seconds away from bursting through the door. I frantically look around for some place to stash my frosty treat, but I just wasn’t quick enough. Before I could make a move, there were 2 big grey eyes staring me down accusingly. “What’s in the cup?” He asked, and before I could even say Pineapple Slushie, he was sucking it down like a desert camel. You got a hump somewhere that I don’t know about, son? Maybe storing some up so that you can bounce off the walls later? Needless to say, the lad made quick work of my slushie.
How did he know?! I thought as I frowned at my empty cup. Then, from out of the blue, it hit me. The greatest epiphany to ever wander through the farthest galaxies of my cranium: Kids share a psychic link with sugar! I’m actually rather upset with myself for not realizing this fact sooner, as I reflect back on my years of life with 5 children.
I can go through the McDonalds drive through and order myself a quadruple biggie sized drink served in a bucket with a straw, and it’ll barely be passing through the minivan window before I’ll hear the first, “Hey, can I have a sip?” This of course results in 4 additional “sips” as it gets handed around. By the time it gets back to me there will be nothing but a half chewed ice cube in the bottom, and several teeth marks in the Styrofoam.
My 16 year old daughter is the worst one of the bunch. She can down an entire drink with catlike stealth. She pulls this ‘faster than the naked eye ninja move’ and you won’t even know your drink is gone until you pick up the empty cup. I’ll glare at her and say,” Really Amber?” Then she’ll flash me her big innocent emerald eyes, belch like a drunken sailor, giggle, and say, “What? I was thirsty.” Child, where did you even come from? Were you there just a minute ago?
I did discover years ago that if I actually want to try and enjoy a sugary snack, I need to hide it from the herd. Even then, though, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get the pleasure of enjoying my hoarded deliciousness.
I can put my treat in a Ziploc bag, stuff the bag into one of those indestructible black boxes that they use on airplanes, place the black box inside a 3 inch thick steel safe, wrap a couple of thick iron chains around it, secure the chains with 5 or 6 strong padlocks, encase the whole thing in cement, and they’ll still come stiffing around my door like a pack of dogs. “You have an M&M in there, I can smell it.” Nope. That’s just my new perfume. Au De Hershey. You like?
I’ll wait it out until they’re satisfied with the fact that I’m not harboring any rogue goodies. Then I’ll slide out of bed at 3 am and tip toe to the other side of the house. I’ll crack their doors open ever so slightly and peek in to see the rise and fall of the covers and listen for the gentle sounds of snoring. Then I’ll tip toe back to my room, quietly shut the door, and begin the process of extracting my stowed sweetness. Ah, there you are, you candy coated morsel of pleasure. It’s a green one, too. Just look at the way it sparkles in the moonlight. As the dainty delight starts to make its journey from hand to mouth I look over my shoulder one last time to see….5 sets of imploring eyes hovering over a freshly forming puddle of drool. Sigh. I give up. How exactly does one divide a single M&M into 5ths?
I realize now why so many women that I know with children are always on a health kick. They don’t really want to lose a few pounds, prevent heart disease, or lower their cholesterol. They just can’t get their hands on anything other than vegetables anymore. You like that carrot stick Sally? No? Well, get used to it, you have children. Consider it your new candy bar.
As I depart for the day, I offer those of you with children a deliciously sweet cookie, just to show that I am sympathetic to your plight.
Oops. Too late. Better luck next time.