Husband and I tolerate the sugar highs and lows of Halloween with (enough) patience and (sometimes fake) smiles on our faces because we know that when the kids finally go to sleep we will reap our reward.
We feel remarkably little guilt as we pillage their candy buckets while they sleep. We dismiss the eighth commandment each Halloween in favor of these two replacement commandments:
- Thou shall not take all of one kind of candy.
- Thou shall not leave the wrappers where they will be found.
This year, academics ruined our routine. Both children were sent home with candy counting assignments. Our freakishly obedient children set to work as soon as they got home and had their candy counted and categorized before they went to bed.
I’ve never been so mad at a teacher. Was that really necessary? Can’t a kid just be a kid? Why all this academic pressure? But mostly: What did we do to make you hate us?
Knowing we couldn’t get away with stealing after the candy bowls had been fully inventoried, I went to bed dejected. It wasn’t until I was drinking my coffee this morning that I remembered we had our own candy bowl (the one meant for trick-or-treaters). I was so excited! I went to the living room, mouth watering in anticipation of a peanut butter cup.
There were none. The trick-or-treater bucket was completely peanut butter cup free. There were Whoppers and Hershey bars but no peanut butter cups and only four lonely Kit Kats. All the vibrant candy in the red and orange wrappers was gone and only the inferior brown and beige candy remained.
Husband had the trick-or-treater bucket brainstorm last night, apparently.
But, he violated both of the replacement commandments. He ate every last one of the peanut butter cups and he only half-heartedly hid the wrappers under a bag on the top of the kitchen garbage.
To his credit, Husband fessed up immediately and claimed that his violation of the first replacement commandment was accidental.
Thankfully, Husband already had a good sense of his penance. Yesterday, I’d run into a friend’s husband—let’s call him “Erik”—while I was on a quick errand to the grocery store. I told Erik that I wanted to know his wife’s secret. How did she get him to do the week’s grocery shopping?
Erik confessed: “Sometimes, a husband wakes up and does something wrong right away. When that happens, he knows that he will spend the rest of the day making up for his error.”
I laughed as one does when someone tells the truth so succinctly. Later, I told Husband about my conversation. Husband chuckled too.
But Husband wasn’t laughing this morning when he said, “I’m going to spend the rest of the day making up for this, aren’t I?”
If you see my husband at the grocery store this afternoon, please give him a knowing smile and point him toward the flower bouquets.