For the past month, my kitchen has been the location of much yelling, name-calling and protests.
Yes, candy for all. It’s not quite Occupy Wall Street, or even Occupy Sesame Street, but it is happening. It’s the time of year where parades fill our weekends and high fructose corn syrup and artificial dye fills our plastic jack-o-lanterns.
From September to December, candy, cookies and cakes are everywhere. Parades of the Fall Fest, Pumpkin and Homecoming variety fill the calendar before the real holiday season begins.
Now, I love a good parade. The marching bands, the floats, the flashy cars. A parade is good, old-fashioned entertainment. The kiddo gets to watch, wave and collect goodies until the fire trucks come through with sirens blazing and he refuses to loosen his death grip on my head.
Then we take those goodies home. And we nibble. And by nibble, I mean I eat them.
I’ve had 4,029 tootsie rolls since September and all the signs are there for more to come.
It’s a problem. There are many solutions: a) don’t go to the parade. b) go to the parade and leave the candy behind. c) don’t go trick-or-treating. d) make some other kids very happy by a large candy donation at the end of trick-or-treat. e) go do the fun stuff, bring the candy home, hide it in the cabinet from the kid so I can eat it all.
None of those sound great, and the mancub has a sixth sense about candy. He knows which cashier at the grocery store gives out suckers, and where she keeps them. He knows that a visit to the bank drive-thru means a dum-dum.
I don’t make a habit of giving him candy, but everyone else does. I also don’t want him to think of me as a mean and stingy mom because I never gave him anything sweet. But the kid has got a serious sweet tooth. I found that out when I tried to use M&Ms to potty train him. He would sit, get his treat, then hop up and run down the hallway, naked and chocolatey.
So, back to the kitchen. He stands on the same corner of the kitchen as his pumpkin and stretches his arms up, wailing for “two. two.” Two bites. One piece of candy, torn in half. Smart momma. Or stupid momma.
I think I can reverse it. That one day he’ll forget about his candy. And I’m in a hole deeper than I realized. Occupy Kitchen. I’ve got to stay strong.
How do I do that, moms? How do you do fun things like trick-or-treat, parades, birthday parties and keep your kids from gorging themselves on candy?