Smells Like Candy

When I’m driving long distances, I usually like to have some sort of snack. It’s not because I’m hungry. And it’s not even that it does a particularly good job of keeping me awake. Mostly, it just gives me something to do. I find driving to be insanely boring.

As a result, when we stopped recently on a long road trip, I picked up a roll of SweetTarts, anticipating my turn at the wheel. SweetTarts and Junior Mints are some of my favorite choices because they taste really good yet don’t give me quite the calorie punch of the other gas station choices.

After we had been driving for awhile, as dark descended and the children were told to quiet down for sleep, I quietly asked my husband for them. He dug around at his feet and then passed them over to me.

A little voice immediately piped up in the back, “Daddy? What did you just give Mommy?”

“Something that she eats to help stay awake,” he responded.

I soon opened them and ate one. I placed the roll in the door handle, which was visible to Hal, who sits directly behind the driver.

“That’s candy, Daddy. Did you give Mommy candy?”

“Yes, I did, Hal. Now go to sleep.”

A few minutes of silence followed until he spoke up again. “But candy is bad for you. Why did you give her candy?”

“Because that’s what she wanted, Hal. When you are a grown-up, you get to make your own bad choices.”

The next day, we returned to the road for the final leg of our journey home. About halfway into my turn at the wheel, I quietly unwrapped the SweetTarts roll and ate one.

From the back, “What’s that smell?”

“I farted,” quipped my husband. “Does it smell sweet?”

“It smells like candy” was Hal’s rather suspicious reply.

“Do SweetTarts really smell that strong?” I whispered.

“He’s a four year old boy. He can probably smell candy from forever away.”

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What Beneath A Pillow Lurks

Underneath a boy’s pillow is a mysterious and dangerous place that only the bravest of parents should dare to venture.

I have found quite the variety of items under pillows over the years. The most common, by far, has been candy. There is a bear pillow that is still waiting for me to figure out how to unstick the blue candy cane that is matted into its fur after Hal tired of sucking on the candy during the night and tucked it under his pillow for safe keeping.

When Daryl was very young, I came to tuck him in and he said, “You can give me a hug, but don’t put your hands under my pillow.” That, obviously, caused me to do just that, revealing his candy stash he planned to consume that night.

The Nintendo DS has been a recent sub-pillow dweller, although we appear to have resolved that issue. I have extracted quite a few books, toys, flashlights, even pen and paper.

All the candy and toys in the world couldn’t have prepared me for last night, however. My natural hugging of a tucked-in child causes my hand to sweep under the pillow. As I hugged Hal, I thrust my right hand under the pillow and was stabbed!

“Ow! What in the world??!!”

I pulled one of Daryl’s jumbo thumb tacks out from under the pillow. “You have got to be kidding me! What were you thinking, Hal? Do you have any idea how much this would have hurt if you had stabbed yourself in the night? Look! I’m bleeding. This was a terrible idea!”

He looked suitably abashed and gave me extra-tight squeeze hugs in an attempt to make amends. I never expected to injure myself tucking my children into bed. I think I might start wearing heavy duty rubber gloves and searching the bed before I go in for the hug.