Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Candy stop won't stop

I am filled with insecurities, self doubt, self loathing, mischief, and hope... but mainly I am filled with candy. Not my candy, mind you. My kid's candy. I did not earn this candy. I mean sure, I walked from door to door just as much as they did. But I didn't have to interact with people asking me about my costume, telling me to pick "just one" or passive aggressively reminding me to say thank you before I even had a chance to inspect the morsel that had just hit my bucket. I hung back with the other parents, keeping a watchful eye on the young ones throughout the night. I let them sample some candy as we walked around. Once we got home, I was even gracious enough to allow them both to partake in their spoils.

But now we enter back in to the real world of Not-October 31 when my kids are only allowed one or two pieces of THEIR OWN Halloween candy each day because: Cavities. Sugar highs. Additives. Greed. Mainly it's my own personal addiction to candy that I cannot will not control, certainly not the week after Halloween.

The most frightening thing happened while we were out trick or treating. No, it wasn't the 7 year old in a bloody scary mask trying to terrorize my 2 year old (who thankfully wasn't moved by his performance). And it wasn't the spooky decor of the neighbors including but not limited to scary clowns, dangling corpses, a skeleton with a rotating head swinging on a swing overhead, blood stained bones. And no it wasn't my realization that despite it being by far the best candy, for some bizarre reason, the Reese's company has not been producing the small Halloween sized packages and that is why I haven't gotten Reese's Pieces in years. The bastards. It wasn't any of that. It was an interaction I had with my daughter while out trick or treating.

She's in kindergarden now. Elementary school has brought with it some real "holy sh!t" moments when I have had to reconcile on the fly how damn grown up she is now. With that maturity comes making decisions for herself, about herself and so on. One such decision was presented in the form of a large silver bowl filled with Halloween candy. I say Halloween candy cause it was the sh!t that they only roll out at Halloween because there really isn't a market for it the rest of the year unless you're in a Walgreens that's going out of business and has only two items left on their candy shelf, or you're at a charming "penny candy" store in some lovely resort town somewhere.

Because I'm a greedy candy loving parent, I glanced down to survey the "choice" she was being given and watched her select a small packet of Necco wafers. My heart sunk. My head screamed: "What is happening??" I began coming up with excuses: maybe she wasn't familiar with them and simply made a bad call. We've all done it. But then my sweet, young, impressionable child inspected the packet closer and said the words I've always feared but never thought I'd ever hear out loud: "hmmm, I love these Necco candys."

Oh the horror! How could this have happened? I mean, you think you're raising your children right. You think you're doing everything to set them up to be successful contributing members of society. And then in comes this powdery chalky packet of what I can only assume was the Vatican's contribution to the candy world to derail all those many years of progress.

But then my new anger management techniques kicked in. I willingly chose to move past the horror. Past the shame. Past the confusion. I decided to see the silver lining. And it is this: If she has terrible taste in candy, then I am possibly the luckiest candy-loving parent in the world. Maybe it doesn't make sense to raise your kids to crave the same Twix and 100 Grands that you want, because: duh, sharing. Yes, perhaps it's all about having a kid who chooses Necco wafers in the trick-filled, hodgepodge bowl of losers: SweeTarts, Smarties, Everlasting Gobstoppers, and Dum Dums.*

*As a sidenote to the people who actively select those candies to give out: listen, I get it. I also have a tough time resisting candy when it's in the house, but just because you can't muster up an ounce of self control doesn't mean you have to give out THE WORST candy out there. Honestly, the house with the root beer barrels and individually wrapped butterscotches looks down on you.

But back to her bad taste in candy, and my love for eating all their candy. Yes, technically I didn't earn it, and yes, technically I feel bad limiting them to two pieces when I take down no fewer than 8 pieces, and that's just when they're off at school during the day. Post bedtime I'm easily in the double digits ... and we will still have enough to donate at the end of the week. The point is, I need to feel less guilty about stealing all of their candy. No. The point is, I need to feel more guilty about stealing all of their candy. No. The point is, I need to keep her walking the line of taking good candy, but actually selecting the shitty ones to eat once we get it all home. No. The point is they don't even miss most of it. No, the point is, Ok, maybe there is no point. The point is beside the point. I am just full of candy I feel guilty about eating and needed to vent. That and I may be one Kit Kat short of a sugar-induced coma. If that happens, please lie to my kids about what brought it on.
This smushed piece of candy was rejected by my daughter. Why do I think so little of myself that I couldn't just accept that maybe she was right? Maybe we are better than this smushed piece of candy. Maybe I shouldn't eat it either. But I did. Oh, of course I did.

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