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Life is like a bowl of Halloween Candy

November 5, 2016

Life is like a bowl of Halloween Candy. You never know what you’re going to get. And you’re not quite sure what to do with it all.

The children are at this magical age where you’re not quite sure if they are biggish babies or babyish big kids. They are little enough that telling them they are having an Adventures in Odyssey slumber party — which involves getting into bed at six o’clock and listening to radio theater — still excites all four. But they are big enough that they actually stay upstairs and leave you alone to your Canasta game.

They all seem about the same age, due to having had them “in a litter” as Claire put it. They all look about the same size due to the big ones being a little on the small side and Annie being a little on the large side.

I have been asked many times if the four of them are triplets (?). They are very merry most of the time — and never more merry than Halloween.

This year we went around our neighborhood and then travelled over to the Hoffner’s to trick or treat with them in their neighborhood. I realized with sinking heart about half way through the evening that the downside to babyish big kids (as opposed to biggish babies) is I won’t be able to get away with throwing out ninety percent of the candy while they sleep and leaving a few choice pieces to be enjoyed.

Sure enough. They brought home four huge bags of candy. And each handled it in his or her own way.

Annie sat on the floor and very methodically consumed ninety percent of hers and then felt so sick she gave the rest away.

After selecting just two or three favorite pieces, Elisabeth volunteered to donate the rest of her candy to those less fortunate individuals who hold a sign saying “Anything helps” along our route to school.

Miss P and Charlie bagged it, labeled it, and put it away in their desks for hoarding. I did make them touch each piece as they bagged it asking themselves, “Does this piece bring me joy?” — in the spirit of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which we have been utilizing to take back our messy house.

Alas, every single piece of her candy brings Miss P joy. And almost every single piece of Charlie’s candy brings him joy. So that didn’t help the situation much.

The next morning we faced the awkward situation of two children with two gallon-size bags of candy each, and two children with no candy. I explained that it is rude to eat candy in front of others without offering to share, so if they chose to eat their candy publicly they needed to offer it to the sisters.

If they did not want to offer to share then they should eat it privately. Alone. In mom’s closet.

They have followed these guidelines so dutifully. Except that the candy hoarders are also the two extroverts, and after a try at private candy eating alone in a closet, both quickly came out to invite the candy-less sisters — in whispers — to come into the closet with them and share their bounty.

So for the past week — with permission — all four have secreted themselves away to the closet together to eat candy. It tastes so much better when there is an element of sneakiness. They quickly realized that they needed a password, so that if you are in mom’s closet eating your candy and someone knocks on the door three times and whispers “HopeAcademy12345” you will know it is your sister or brother come to join you for sneaky candy eating, and not some stranger off the street.

It reminds me of an ongoing game of Sardines. At any moment a child might be coloring at the table and suddenly realize the others are nowhere in sight. This phenomenon can mean only one thing.

Dash to mom’s closet. Knock the secret knock. Whisper the code word.

It’s candy time.

I am heartened that with all the candy sharing, the supplies are diminishing.

I also think, although we may have to foot the bill for some dental work, they won’t all be the same age sneaking around together forever. And it is so very merry around here. It’s worth a cavity or two.



3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2016 3:03 pm

    Mother Lucy does it again…with Halloween candy, no less. Hilarious. I know you’d like to freeze those moments forever…next best thing is to write them down and take pictures. That way the rest of us can enjoy the evening as well. As always, great job…wonderful cast to work with. How could you go wrong?

  2. November 7, 2016 5:45 pm

    Oh, this was wonderful!

  3. barbershoppe permalink
    November 12, 2016 5:45 pm

    This post brings me much joy! Like the bowl of Halloween candy, we readers never know what we will get from the Peppers, but it is always good! Thank you for taking the time to write.

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