Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Politics of Stealing Candy on Halloween

I try to be a good parent, but sometimes I fall asleep on the job. Literally.

I know I shouldn't, but it does happen occasionally. Take today, for instance. Two nights a week, including last night, I get off work at 2:00 AM. That's an ungodly hour of the night. (On the plus side, I was actually able to leave on time last night. Many nights it takes me fifteen minutes to an hour extra to get finished up so I can leave.)

So, I got home at 2:30, and found my way to a corner of the bed around 2:45. I say "corner of the bed" because that's what I usually end up with. We have a king size bed. It is very big. And yet The Wife usually finds a way to angle herself across three-quarters of the bed. As a math teacher, I'm sure The Wife could figure out an equation to determine how one small object (The Wife) could take up as much space as possible on one large object (the king size bed.) I don't need an equation, because I see it in practice all the time. (It's okay, though. I love her very much, and I'd still rather share a corner of the bed with her than try the couch.)

Anyway, I got to bed around 2:45. The Wife's alarm goes off at 5:45. (Sometimes I hear it, sometimes I don't.) (Of course, sometimes she hears it, and sometimes she doesn't.) Even if I do hear it, I usually go back to sleep until about 7:15, when The Wife leaves for work. The kids usually wake up a few minutes after The Wife leaves, so I have to get up to tend to them.

In other words, the two times a week I work the night shift, I usually end up getting between two and five hours of sleep. So, as the day progresses, sometimes I fall asleep while watching the kids.

That's what happened today. After breakfast I sat in my chair and got out the computer, checking out and such. And I dozed off for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes, The Boy was eating a Tootsie Pop from his Halloween stash.

A quick aside: It's Halloween morning, and yet the kids already have a "Halloween stash." Why? Because Halloween has become a week-long party. First, the kids had a "trunk-or-treat" in Grammy's neighborhood on Saturday. Then they got dressed up again and got more candy at The Boy's playgroup on Monday. On Tuesday, it was The Girl's pre-school's Halloween party. So, by the time they go out tonight for actual Halloween, it will be the fourth time they get into their costumes to beg for candy! (Back when I was a kid, Halloween was one night of the year! And we didn't go car-to-car in a parking lot for our candy, we had to walk the entire town and knock on every door!) (One of the good things about growing up in a town as small as Arimo is that we literally could and did knock on every door in town!)

An aside to the aside: The kids costumes are awesome! They are going out as Minnie and Mickey Mouse this year. The Wife made and put together the costumes herself, and she did an amazing job! (Okay, she didn't make the mouse ears. We got them at Disneyland. But still, she did an outstanding job with their costumes!) I am going dressed as Goofy. I was very proud of coming up with the costume by myself last year, without any help from The Wife. I figured I could get several years of mileage out of it. But, The Wife says this, the second year, will be the last year I get to wear it. She doesn't want me to turn into my brother. (We love him, but my brother John, a Green Bay Packer fan, has been a "Cheesehead" on Halloween for 20 straight years.)

Minnie and Mickey
Anyway, (asides aside) when I woke up, The Boy was eating a Tootsie Pop. Now, if he had wanted to sneak a candy and not get caught, this is the worst choice he could have made. Why? Because: a) it takes him 30 minutes to eat one; and 2) even if I had still been asleep when he finished, the sticky evidence would be stuck on his face. No, The Boy didn't have a care at all if he were caught or not, he just wanted the candy.

The Girl, on the other hand, is a completely different animal. She knows what is right and wrong, and doesn't like it when she gets caught doing wrong. So, she tries to put a spin on it. She is very good at this. With her ability to deflect questions and give vague answers, I think she might have a future in politics. Our conversation went like this:

Me: "Did you have a piece of candy?"
The Girl: "Maybe."
Me: "Did you have a piece of candy?"
The Girl: "My brother wanted me to have some." (I like how she still hasn't admitted that she had any, and tries to pass the blame to him.)
Me: "Did you have a piece of candy?"
The Girl: "I was going to ask you, but you were asleep." (Still hasn't admitted, now trying to blame me.)
Me: "Did you have a piece of candy? YES or NO?" (I was going with the parental approach of asking the same question until you get the answer you want, raising my voice a little each time I asked. She was being so evasive that this time I added the "Yes or no?" and did so with about as stern a voice as I could.)
The Girl: (Finally and sheepishly) Yes.

Her answers were so good and so "slippery," that The Girl would be right at home at one of the presidential debates. Obama and Romney could both learn a few things from her about plausible deniability and shifting the blame. I'm not sure if I should be proud of her, amused by her, or frightened by her. (Probably a little of all three.)

All I know is that, as a parent, I better not fall asleep on the job anymore.

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