I have the fondest memories of Halloween when my children were young.
The images of little unicorns and sharks, princesses and knights parade through my mind like a film of happy times.
But the real fun happened after the tired little monsters went to sleep. I know what you’re thinking, but never mind that, I’m talking about sorting the candy in the kids’ overstuffed bag of treats. The Carpenter and I would create a little ratio game: two for the kids, 1 for us (okay, I’m pretty sure that was the ratio). The Carpenter would confiscate all the molasses candies and Wunderbars. I would get the Mars bars. Hey, we considered this a fair negotiation for the parents who paid the dentist bills.
But the little kids aren’t little anymore. Their propensity to eat the groceries as fast as we can unpack them is shocking. And they are deceptive about it, too. You open the cupboard to see boxes and bags of snacks, cereals and granola bars, as much as our budget will allow.
It’s the pantry of plenty, until you put your hand in the box and discover it’s empty. You go to pour a bowl of cereal, and there is none. That’s okay, because the milk jug is empty too, but the bag is still in it just in case you need reassurance that they’ve cleaned you out of that too.
It doesn’t matter how many times you hold an empty box of crackers upside down, shake it and yell, “Who did this?” The answer will always be the same: blank stare, shoulder shrug, about-face, bedroom door shut.
That’s why I knew the box of bite-sized chocolate bars I bought on sale wouldn’t last. It was an impulse buy. Stress. Hormones. Chocolate. Don’t argue. I hoped for at least one or two pieces, but the teen vultures began to circle before I even set the box down. I sulked off to my home office to make a deadline, sure I’d never taste a single piece of wrapped-up heaven.
But once a team, always a team is the basis of my relationship with the Carpenter, and this time would be no different.
About an hour after I set the box down on the kitchen table, he came upstairs and knocked on my office door. The Carpenter tiptoed in without a word, holding a large cookie tin. Odd. He closed the door quietly behind him. Something was up. Then he opened the tin’s lid slowly, very slowly, seductively even, with a twinkle in his eye and a grin that suggested I was about to get lucky, very lucky. He brought me chocolate. And not just any chocolate: mini-chocolate Snickers bars. Can I just say, I love this man.
With great care, the Carpenter had sorted through the Halloween candy and retrieved every single piece of my favourite chocolate bar, placing them in a sealed, inconspicuous tin. After showing me the treasure inside, he opened the drawer to my filing cabinet, carefully placed the tin inside, placed his index finger to his lips and said nothing more than “shhhh.” A little wink and he backed out of my office, silent like the great chocolate phantom of my dreams. So very hot.
That’s right, kids; the trick’s on you. The mom stash will be gone before you read this column.