I have been criticized for my invention of "Good Boy Candy" by people who don't understand my shortcomings. It started when my oldest was about four and refused to sleep in his own bed. I yelled. I pleaded. I threatened. You may not know this, but screaming at a child to go to sleep rarely works. It tends to rile them up more. I was at my wits' end.
Finally, I turned to bribery. "If you sleep in your bed all night, I will give you a piece of candy as soon as you wake up!"
Worked like a charm.
Three years later, my kids still get "Good Boy Candy" every morning that they sleep in their own beds. While I recognize that this is no longer necessary, I do personally appreciate "breakfast chocolate" and have since I was a child. There is nothing better than letting a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth while you are still gathering the gumption to get out of bed and face the day. We are all happier because of it. However, I have accidentally turned my boys into little chocolate snobs.
Someone recently looked through my candy bowl and questioned the need for my kids to eat expensive chocolate. They contended that if I insisted on giving them daily chocolate, it should be the cheapest candy imaginable. Here is my justification.
1. If mama has only cheap candy to steal from in her time of extreme need, everyone suffers. Not just everyone in the house, but possibly everyone in the world. If valium is no longer chic, they better not take away my chocolate.
2. Because my children detest cheap candy, they have never finished their Halloween candy or Easter basket candy ever. They eat much less candy than if theyhad a less discriminating palate. If it's not Dove quality or higher, they will pass. That's right, my little chocolate snobs will turn up their noses at inferior candy, and seeing as few people offer children good chocolate, they don't get as much as you would think. For example, they will only eat Hershey's kisses in times of extreme chocolate-scarcity.
3. Dove chocolates have little inspirational messages. Now If they were smart, they would say things like, "Don't kill the children," but whomever writes them seems to be of the happy impractical mindset. Tiny Pants calls them "fortunes" and asks me to read them to him, which generally is amusing for all, and by all I mean me.
"Put yourself first," I read. He very seriously nods. "I can do that." (Because most of the time he puts everyone else first??)
"Take a mini vacation," reads another. "I can do that." (Kid, you go to pre-school 3 hours a day. Your life is a vacation.)
"Turn off the world for a while." Now Tiny Pants is scared. "What? NO! I reject that fortune! I refuse that! I will not do that!"
(A good parent probably doesn't laugh at distress caused by chocolate. I don't think I said I was a good parent.)