Yes, I gave her an 11 year old sucker, but how was I supposed to know that sugar can go bad?

Today my 11-year-old daughter had a concert at the courthouse, and then we ate lunch together. After lunch she had to go to The Nuthouse, which is a shop that sells ice cream, candy and, you guessed it, nuts. She was dying to buy an all day sucker, because all of the kids bought them last year and she just loved the idea of a sucker bigger than her head. When we got to The Nuthouse, it appeared that every kid who was in chorus was waiting in line for their turn to buy a giant sucker. This line wrapped around the corner, that's  how important a trip to The Nuthouse was.

So she finally got her humongous sucker and ran out of the store waving it at me. She belonged. She fit in. She pretended it was a magic wand, a light saber and a sword.

Which accounts for why it looked like this when she unwrapped it tonight:


Well, it didn't look exactly like this when she unwrapped it. It was slightly less broken, and there weren't big pink globs of  leftover melts from the candy jewelry making kit she got two Christmases ago that I used in a pathetic attempt at gluing the sucker pieces together. I only succeeded in making it worse, and she was devastated. Especially since I'd also made her buy an all-day sucker for her younger brother. So while she was fighting back tears, her brother was doing this:

Her brother, not rubbing it in at all.

As her brother, completely undeserving in her book, pranced around the house eating his big-ass sucker and getting it all over his face in the process, I did some quick thinking and what I remembered was this. When my daughter turned one, my husband's cousin had given her an all-day sucker. Being an anal retentive control freak of a first time parent, I promptly hid the giant sucker in a kitchen drawer, and then forgot about it.

Until tonight, that is. I frantically dug in the kitchen drawer beneath layers of old potholders and scattered toothpicks and some old batteries and.....found it. *cue angelic music*

As my mother was in the dining room with the kids, surveying the wrecked lollipop and saying things like, "Aww! It's so cute!" and "Wow! It's like a puzzle, only made out of candy!" I proudly walked out of the kitchen holding an 11-year-old giant sucker that was in the shape of a flower (with only one piece broken off) which said "Make A Wish!". Taking a step back, my mother gave me that look. The look that one mother gives to another when she's saved the day, and I nodded back to her, graciously acknowledging her admiration.

My daughter's eyes grew round with anticipation, and she looked at me in awe. And seriously, I deserved it. I mean, how many mothers happen to have an all-day sucker on hand, for just such emergencies as these?

She unwrapped it and sniffed it.

"It smells funny."

"That's just the wrapper."

She dislodged the broken piece from the wrapper and looked at it closely.

"What's this?"

"What? I don't see anything."

"Look at the inside, it's all yellow. Shouldn't it be white?"

"It's probably banana flavored."

"But why are there holes in the, um, middle?"

By now, I was beginning to have some serious concerns about feeding my child 11-year-old candy. Would it make her sick? Sick enough to have to take her to the emergency room and then have to try to ignore the looks of disbelief as I attempted to explain to the nurses and doctors that yes, I purposely fed my daughter an 11-year-old all-day sucker but she was super sad and bummed out because the one she got was broken. And did I forget to mention the fact that her dad died last month??? I mean, what would you do?

At the last minute, I decided that the e.r. doctor probably wouldn't feed his daughter old candy and he also probably wouldn't take my diagnosis of adhd or my children's grief into consideration before he hotlined me to DCFS.

I held up a hand.

"Stop. Don't eat it, just throw it away."

Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. Good. I have trained you well, grasshopper.

"Why?"

"Well....it's kind of old, actually. Best not to eat it, in case..."

"How old?"

"Ummm......I don't really remember, exactly...."

"HOW OLD?"

"Well, let's see. Cousin Helene gave that to you when you turned one, so I guess that would make it..."

WHAT!!!!???? YOU WERE GOING TO FEED ME A 10-YEAR-OLD SUCKER???"

Here, I sighed. The sigh you give your child when she is totally in the right but no way will you let her know that. Because keeping that a secret is what keeps you in charge. That, and having the last word.

"Technically, it's closer to 11-years-old, since your 12th birthday is next mo...."

"WHATEVER!!!! Ew! Gross!"

At this point, she ran to the kitchen sink and started scrubbing her tongue with her toothbrush.

"Don't forget to throw it away!" I called after her.

So I had the last word.




Don't judge me.

Sorry I killed your chickens Grandma but you really should have given me more information.

Did you know that baby chicks can actually die from fear? Well, they can.

My grandma Josephine kept chickens, and sold their eggs to Wilbur the egg man every week. She would collect the eggs and leave them on the dining room table. We would then go in to town to eat dinner and Wilbur would come and get the eggs off of the dining room table. Then he would leave the money and take the eggs. Sometimes King, my grandparents German Shepard, forgot who Wilbur was, so he would let Wilbur in the house to get the eggs, but he wouldn't let Wilbur leave the house. That's when we would get a phone call up at The Dairy Dipper from Wilbur, asking to speak to my grandparents. Wilbur would explain the situation and we would go back to the farm so Wilbur could leave the house.

So, about my grandma Josephine's chickens......there was this one time when she told me to stay out of the henhouse, because otherwise the baby chicks would die.

Ok. First, let me tell you that I'm the kind of person who wants needs to know every detail of a situation. Otherwise, my imagination runs riot and everybody dies.

So anyway, because I was 9, Grandma Josephine didn't bother with the details, she just told me to stay out of the henhouse and expected that I would. That's it, that's all.

My mom should have told her that's not how I operated. So, I blame Mom.

Bad Mom.

It was Easter break and my parents had shipped me off to the farm for another week, and my grandma made the mistake of telling me that there were chicks.

She sat me down and very sternly told me to stay out of the henhouse, because there were brand-new chicks in there. And that's all she told me.

That's like telling a child that there are kittens in the shed out back, but neglecting to mention the fact that there is a Velociraptor in there as well. Yes, I know, but it's not like Allie Brosh owns the rights to the word Velociraptor. Anyone can use it.

I kicked around in the dirt of the chicken run long enough to make Grandma think I had forgotten all about the baby chicks. I snuck a quick look and realized I was no longer being watched.

It was time to make my move.

OMG you guys! There were about 25-40 tiny yellow baby chicks, and they were sooo cute! The henhouse was lit by several warming lights, and the floor was littered with straw.

But wait. There seemed to be one baby chick who appeared sad. Left out. Bereft.

I decided I would pick him up and console him.

As I moved toward that one baby chick, all of the chicks moved toward the opposing wall in a wave. They all piled on top of one another in a frantic attempt to escape my affections.

Because that's what baby chicks do. Grandma Josephine should have been more specific.

Realizing that I was in serious trouble, I did what any responsible, morally upright child would do.

I ran like hell.

Later, as I was re-reading Little Women in my bedroom for the thousandth time, Grandma Josephine came in.

Grandma: "Did you go into my henhouse today? After I specifically told you not to?"

Me: (refusing to make eye contact) "Um, no?"

Grandma: "Well, it looks like 27 of my baby chicks have been smothered to death. Are you sure you don't know anything about it?"

Me: "Wow! I read somewhere that dogs hate chickens. Maybe King killed them. He was looking at them yesterday, like he was jealous of them. I bet he killed them. You should check his mouth for feathers

Grandma (sighing): "Is this going to be like the time you killed the Easter Bunny?"

Me: "No!! That was an ACCIDENT!!!"

I won't bore you with the details, but Grandma eventually got me to admit to accidentally killing approximately 25-30 of her baby chicks. So, I got the "all animals are God's creatures and stop killing them!!" lecure.

Again.

So that's why I think the chicken chased me around the farmyard when I was 11, after my grandpa chopped it's head off.

Because that's payback.