m&m tragedy

This afternoon on the way home from work/school, we stopped at the grocery for a major stock-up of everything. My cupboard has been very Mother-Hubbard-ish of late! (and we don't celebrate thanksgiving, so no leftovers). I told the boys that they could each choose a treat, and the choosing took them about twenty damn minutes. They had to wander the aisles, working out the trade values of squares of chocolate vs. Menthos, and making complicated trade agreements. You would think they NEVER get to eat junk! What about the bags of congealed sweeties from Halloween that I eventually threw away, because no-one was eating them??

EVENTUALLY, we checked out, loaded up the car to the brim, and headed home; each boy snacking in blissful silence. Now, my kids can make yummy stuff last for DAYS! This is great, because I often find a pack of tic tacs, or a bar of cadbury's fruit and nut, or something, in the fridge ripe for the skimming.

I would never admit this nibbling of their snacks to the boys, and in fact this is a family tradition that goes back many generations. The only member of the family to admit to snack-skimming was my grandfather Jack, who once spent an entire Christmas singing "I, ate Bunty's chocolate SAN-ta-claus; it was in the fri-i-iidge last niiiight!" which traumatized my poor mother for life. My brother's wife stubbournly insists on liking chocolate that no-one else in the family likes, so she always has a good stash that we won't skim. The rest of us have to cunningly disguise our chocolate as, say, parsley flakes; and hide it behind something. Yes, we break into one another's houses to seek out chocolate. I wonder if this is why Ailis lives so very far away? But I digress.

Today, Max had a pack of mini m&ms, Sam a roll of menthos, Chas a bar of chocolate. I had my eye on a few m&ms!

As I hit the highway home I immediately remembered 4 essential things I had forgotten, but hey, what are next door neighbours / parents for?

Suddenly, Sam said, "hey, let's have a competition! The first person to finish their snack..." There was an immediate, unmistakeable sound of Max emptying and entire tube of m&ms into his mouth.

The next sound was of Max suddenly realising what he had done, and Sam trying to say ".... Is the loser! That's what I was going to say!" Max was crying "you made me eat all my m&ms!!" with cheeks stuffed like a squirrel and tears streaming down his face and meeting up with rainbow dribble.

"Sam! How could you?!" said Chas, deftly making matters worse, as Max swallowed some and built himself up to a crescendo of misery and woe. Poor Sam did his best to defend himself, "I did not MAKE you eat them!" "Yes you DID!"

Of course, I was trying valiantly to act concerned and empathetic: "oh, sweetie, poor you!" I giggled, as Max struggled to swallow the last of his precious treat. I tried to point out that Sam really did not MEAN for him to do that, but poor Max was devastated and there was no redemption or forgiveness for Sam.

Luckily, the trade value of m&ms had been previously agreed upon, and Sam was relieved of six-and-three-quarters menthos. (yes, exactly!) Chas generously donated a few squares of chocolate to the cause, too, but Max was still, understandably, very sad about his m&ms. He sniffed and snuffled all the way home.

Being the littlest? Really sucks!

When we got home, the boys unloaded and put away the groceries while I tidied and nagged, and then they took carrot cake and bananas down to the pond to fish. I don't know if they caught anything, (they usually put the fish back; we flatten the barbs on hooks with a pliers for easy removal and release) but when they came in later on, all was forgiven and forgotten.

And there isn't even half a mentho for me to nibble.