Last week, our whole family (two adults, three kids) found ourselves waiting in a long line at the post office.
If you’re wondering what piece of poor parental planning led to this event, let me assure we had no choice. We were getting passports for the kids, and to do this the children and both parents had to be present at the post office. The long line was just a fun added bonus.
Luckily, knowing the kids might be just a little bored on our exciting passports-at-the-post-office outing, I brought along diversions. I gave Ziggy, my three-year-old son, his very own canister of orange Tic Tacs. He was delighted. He spent the better part of our time in line just enjoying opening and closing the lid. Then he moved on to giving himself a pellet of orangey goodness, amusing himself to no end as the line crept forward.
Eventually it was our turn, we signed what had to be signed and then the kids and I were excused while my husband stayed behind to wait in another line to pay and sign another 429 forms.
As we were waiting for him, Ziggy dropped his entire box of Tic Tacs on the filthy post office floor. And while I wasn’t completely comfortable with my decision, I let him pick them up one by painstaking one.
Sure, that isn’t exactly a Mother of the Year choice, but he was so happy, and I convinced myself this was okay because after all, isn’t picking up Tic Tacs an excellent way to practice his fine motor skills?
My husband showed-up just after the last Tic Tac was safely back in its plastic box, and we headed home. I immediately went back out for another box of Tic Tacs so I could secretly swap it with the defiled one.
I got back home, couldn’t find the Tic Tacs, and asked my husband, “Where are Ziggy’s Tic Tacs?”
“Why?” asks my husband.
“Because he spilled those all over the disgusting floor of the post office. We have to switch that box with this new one before he eats any.”
My husband, suddenly pale, splutters “Before he eats any.. he’s been feeding them to me the whole time you were gone!”
And then my husband went and threw up.
And this is why you should never, ever take candy from a toddler… even if they offer really, really nicely.