I'm not a big fan of the Chocolate Holidays, and I'll tell you why. They incite devious, sneaky, lying behavior at my house. Let's start with Halloween, for example. The kids dress up in overpriced pieces of stretchy nylon, hit the streets in the dark - armed with a plastic pumpkin head and a flashlight (both deadly weapons), and beg (very noble practice) for candy. They come home, we deal out the treasures, and make up arbitrary rules like: "Only one piece a day." First of all, it never works out that way, and second, if I have done the math right, we will all be eating candy that gets harder and chewier with every passing day, and will finally be inedible by the time we get to the last piece on February 13th.
But, hey, we're in luck! February 14th is the official start of the next Chocolate Holiday! This stash is much more cluttered and complicated though. The kids have to actually write something on a small piece of paper, tape on a tiny, tape-able piece of candy, and then address it to each one of their classmates. Plus, when they bring home their cache, it has to be separated from tattoos, tape, gum wrappers, and other bits of Valentiny paraphernalia before they can even hork it down. Much harder.
Not to worry. The grand-daddy of them all and the official end to the season of chocolate is just around the corner - Easter! To begin with, I stuff plastic eggs full of candy for the Easter Bunny to hide, and then indulge the Easter Bunny to leave additional trinkets and chocolate candy in a basket. Then I make them hunt for their goodies in the morning - making these chocolate treasures just that much more "valuable." Not only have I taught them that hiding candy is good, but I have also given them a plethora of sneaky spots for future hiding. It's all my fault.
So I guess I just have myself to blame for this morning's escapades. As I was getting ready for the day, assuming that both children were still slumbering peacefully in their beds, I heard a noise from the kitchen downstairs. It sounded a little like a sack of marbles dropping and then rolling about randomly across the hardwood floor. But upon closer auditory inspection, it sounded exactly like several plastic Easter eggs crashing open on to the kitchen floor, spilling out scads of jelly beans, robin eggs, and Cadbury mini eggs - accompanied by frantic bare feet hopping from pillar to post, scooping up the runaway candy. Hmmm... I can't quite remember now... did I put jellybeans and toast or Peeps and peanut butter eggs with milk on the breakfast menu ... and some little person was just helping to prepare the prescribed breakfast to surprise me?
By the time I entered the kitchen, life seemed just as normal as possible. Two children in their jammies just casually, innocently eating breakfast and writing their spelling words (rather quietly and diligently). I must have been hearing things. Surely these two Heaven-sent children could not have possibly been involved in some sort of a candy heist - right? I pretended to be completely without suspicion and gave them their usual morning hugs and kisses. We continued this charade for a few more minutes until something went terribly wrong. As one of them stood up to get more milk, I heard a peculiar, but recognizable sound. Then the mad scramble to cover up the crime was underway. The sound heard was that of a robe pocket over-filled with jelly beans spilling it's contents on to a wooden chair, that continued to roll off on to a wooden floor, which when followed, led directly to the "nest." As I let my eye follow the rolling jelly beans along the floor boards, I caught a glimpse of something shiny underneath the sofa in the sun room. When I pulled back the skirt of the sofa, to my great "surprise," I was treated to a vast array of foil wrappers, Easter grass, part of a chocolate bunny ear, and anything with coconut in it. Seems as though this job had been well underway for the last several days.
Without me saying a word, this is what followed:
Accomplice #1: "Mom, I was just moving these plastic Easter eggs from here to over there... because they needed to be moved."
Accomplice #2: ....Yeah, Mom. We weren't going to put them in our lunch boxes or anything... really!
Accomplice #1: Mom, they just spilled this morning somehow - and I didn't have time to put them all back together again... I had to get my spelling done.
Accomplice #2: ... and I didn't see anything at all. I don't even know where the candy is...
Accomplice #1: What? What's under the couch??
Accomplice #2: That's been there for a loooong time... and I don't even know why...
See? Lying, sneaky, devious behavior... all because the Chocolate Holidays... and one guilt-ridden, chocolate-loving mom who isn't ready to give up the magic of a Halloween costume, the delight of making a Valentine Box, or the lovable - yet tricky Easter Bunny.