Hide the candy!

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We’ve always had a candy drawer in our kitchen. The amount of sweet stuff in there ebbs and flows throughout the year. Other than the requisite Easter basket stuffers, the excess of which lasts about 9 months, we rarely buy candy ourselves. The bulk of it just appears on my husband’s desk at school around holidays and at the end of the year. Some of it is homemade, some of it not, but it’s almost always nicely wrapped. I suspect that from some of his students this gesture is not so much a gift as a peace offering. Nevertheless, the candy arrives home, is sampled, and then eventually makes its way to the candy drawer to spend the rest of its days in quiet, dark retirement.

Then our third child came along. As soon as she discovered that she could reach the candy drawer, it was her new best friend. This day came all at once. I was woken up by my middle daughter thrusting in my face a handful of soggy, sticky, melty jellybeans that she had confiscated from her younger sister. I seized the rest, with a harsh word to the perpetrator. Later in the day, my little narc showed me the gooey remains of a white chocolate Easter bunny, yanked, once again, from the clutches of her younger sister. (It was August, by the way. Like I said, it takes us a while to get through the stuff.) When I was outside watering the plants, the big girls were yelling, “Mom, where are you?! Come quick!” Fearing the worst–a really big spider–I rushed back inside only to find the baby’s mouth now covered in brown from the Robin Eggs, aka, speckled pastel Whoppers.

At this point you must be thinking, “Put a lock on the drawer!” or “Take all the candy out of it, for heaven’s sake!” or simply, “Stop buying so much Easter candy!” But I was still stubbornly holding onto the belief that if I could keep my oldest two from pulling raids like this, surely I could discipline the youngest, as well. I gave her a severe scolding and wiped her hands and mouth perhaps a bit rougher than need be. But just to be safe and to help her avoid temptation, I pushed the remaining candy to the nether regions of the drawer, out of reach, and out of harm’s way.

Later that night it was bath time. Without me needing to say a word, as always, my two oldest came barreling down the hallway as soon as they heard the water running. The youngest must be corralled, roped, and hog tied to get her into the bathroom. Even then, her bath mostly consists of a soapy wet rag swiped across her body in as short an amount of time as possible (I’ve gotten it down to 3.5 seconds) while she stands writhing outside the tub, followed by a quick, though evidently painful, rinse in the tub, and she’s done. Once she’s dried and dressed, she usually THEN tries to get  into the tub.

On this particular day, as I hadn’t washed her big sisters yet, I figured the best solution for accomplishing that task uninhibited was to stick the little leprechaun on the couch in front of a movie. Once the big girls were clean, I returned to the living room. My youngest was sitting casually with one knee up, one elbow propped on the arm of the couch, and her little fingers calmly dipping in to an open box of Nerds. Intent on the tube, she didn’t even glance up at my approach. I, of course, screamed and snatched the box away from her. Then I went to the kitchen to discover how she had accomplished this latest heist. On the floor next to the open candy drawer was a tall, unopened plastic tub of parmesan cheese, which she had obviously used as a step stool to reach the back of the drawer. I sighed, closed the drawer, and put the cheese away. My husband could put a lock on the drawer in the morning.

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