Yesterday my child asked if he could have a marshmallow peep. I made the mistake of not only tell him yes but also telling him they were in an open package in the cupboard and he could use his stool to get them because I was going to hop in the shower. Now, if left to my own devices and a pan of brownies, I would probably show very little restraint and eat like five of them. And then regret it very quickly. I am not a three year old.
When I emerged from the shower, N came in smiling and said, “I ate just one peep!” “Are you sure?” I asked, because usually he doesn’t announce things like that unless there’s more to the story. “Well,” he said, “I just ate one, and then I went back in and ate the rest.” “What do you mean, the rest?” I asked. The last time I had taken a yellow chicky out of that package, there were thirteen of his little chicky friends still in there. There was no way N actually ate that much fluffy crap.
N sprinted out of the bathroom, bumped down the stairs, fussed around with something in the kitchen, and then returned to the bathroom holding a completely empty package. “You ate ALL of those peeps? Like, ALL of them are in your tummy?” I must have sounded impressed. N just smiled, clearly very proud that he had managed this feat. And a feat it was. I’m fairly certain I would have thrown up around peep number ten.
I waited. For sugar-coated puke or a diabetic coma. At least a monster belly-ache. Nothing happened. I even began to think maybe he’d fed the chicks to the dog or pushed them down the drain because I could not believe that kind of a marshmallow overdose would have zero effect on him. An hour went by. An hour and a half.
And then, I asked N to wash his hands for lunch instead of using the sink to fill up a balloon he’d found. I was thinking, “please wash your hands and you can play with the balloon in the tub later” would result in a minor whine followed by the requested hand-washing. Holy shit, was I wrong. Those peeps gurgling around in his system flipped the switch, and my child turned into a sugar-crazed madman. As he was spraying water around the bathroom and slapping at me when I took the balloon from his hands, all I could picture was a sugar high train careening down the “crash” side of very steep hill.
And thus, after a tantrum which lasted well over an hour and involved two lengthy trips to his room, one screaming-at-the-top-of-his-lungs flail face down on the kitchen floor, a full day of lost tv privileges and a promise that he would never be allowed another marshmallow in his life if he didn’t get it under control, I learned a little lesson: Don’t EVER tell your children where the sweets are. Ever. While holding N’s doorknob as he threw himself against the closed bedroom door and listening to him scream like I’d just shoved him into a snake pit, I waited for the neighbors to call social services and imagined them laughing at me for thinking I could trust a three year old boy to stop after one sweet, tempting yellow chick.