May 21, 2008

Pandora's Box

Last week, we went to the Wolf's Den Restaurant for dinner. I've been wanting to try the restaurant for a while so I rummaged through the "gift certificate drawer" and pulled out the Wolf's Den gift certificate that I won at a business function.

After our meal, the server (who was excellent) gave Jade a little Hallowe'en-sized box of Smarties. Jade hasn't had much exposure to chocolate or candy and she thought it was just a pretty box that made noise when she shook it.

Fawn and I were both OK that Jade didn't know about the sugary treats that hid inside the box. I'm quite happy to have a candy-free kid (at least until she's a little older) and I'm quite happy that I don't have to deal with sugar-induced toddler mood swings.  The normal ones are bad enough.

Jade walked around the restaurant quite happily, shaking her little musical present.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

The server took the box of Smarties from her and opened it.

And then the server told her that the colourful little surprises inside were for eating.

And then Jade ate one.

I could see something change in Jade's expression as she bit through the candy coating into the chocolate. It was a moment of discovery and realization. A paradigm shift. 

Her world would never be the same.

My child would never be the same.

As she reached into the box for a second Smartie, I could see a gleam in her eyes. Although it was carefully concealed, it was a frenzied gleam not unlike Dr. Frankenstein's when he brought his monster to life and declared, "It's alive! It's alive!" (Fawn might not have seen that. She wasn't sitting as close as I was.)

Fortunately, Jade spilled most of the smarties on the floor and I managed to eat one or two before that, so the sugar shock was minimal.

After the incident, I began to rationalize the whole thing.  It's not so bad, I told myself, she'll forget all about it.

I was wrong.

Yesterday, Jade and I biked up to the grocery store to get a couple of items for dinner.  Jade made a bee-line for the impulse racks at the checkout, grabbed a big box of Smarties (ignoring all of the other shiny, colourful packages), shook it, and held it up to me saying, "Yeah?  Yeah? Please?  Yeah?"

Before I said anything I looked deep into her eyes.  I could see it.  It was the Dr. Frankenstein glimmer.

The candy-monster is alive.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, didn't see it? Or did someone take a little creative license in the story-telling? Hmmm...

Geez, I hate saying no to her now that she's starting to be so good at saying "please"! I mean, I'd say no, anyway, but... drat that server!

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, I don't have kids. On the other hand, I don't have your luck at winning meat and restaurant gift certificates at business functions. I've lost track of how draws I've entered at business functions over the years, and I've never won anything. What's your secret?

Anonymous said...

Kids NEVER forget!

And the winning thing must run in the family! Tim always wins everything and will even call it before the fact.

Meandering Michael said...

Login, the secret is to go to events where there is a high proportion of prizes to participants (so the odds are in your favour).

Oh, and NOT caring about winning prizes helps (because it SEEMS like you win more when you can't remember all the times that didn't win).

Anonymous said...

The oldest child can remain candy free for quite a long period of time.

Our kids have a 5.5 years difference so with the second one, we didn't have a chance at all at keeping him candy/sugar/chocolate free for any reasonable period of time. The oldest has a way of attracting that stuff her way and sharing it.