Thursday, November 10, 2011

574. Inventory

Tall walks in the door, still in his “costume” of his basketball uniform. He takes the orange plastic pumpkin and unceremoniously dumps the contents on the living room carpet. Rainbow hues litter the floor, their electric labels fighting for visual dominance: Twix! Starburst! Almond Joy! Snickers! Baby Ruth!

“Now we will sort them,” says Tall, making his Virgo mama proud while simultaneously causing his father to wonder if we need to have our older son tested for OCD tendencies.

The shorter child, still in his shark attire, readily agrees. Within minutes, the candy is lined up picture perfect, most closely resembling an ad for television special on Lifetime called American Consumerism: The Warning Signs.

The shark begins to dig into his stash, while his mother hyperventilates about melty M&M’s ruining the expensive shark outfit.

The basketball player disappears into the other room, then comes back a few moments later with his homework assignment. He takes out a pen and begins to inventory his candy.

(obviously this continues on the back of the page; not sure what a "gift basket" candy is)

I am horrified. What kind of mean teacher takes the opportunity of Halloween to have the children chart and graph their trove of candy? How long is this stupid assignment going to take? Couldn’t the kids have even one day off from homework to just enjoy being kids and devour cavity-inducing candy on a meaningless holiday?

I resign myself to the fact that I will have to help Tall with his project.

“Okay, Sweetie!” I cheer, trying to impersonate an upbeat person. “Should I get a ruler? What exactly do we need to do here?”

“What are you talking about, Mom?” he asks while unwrapping a lone Bit O’ Honey.

“Your homework,” I nod toward the piece of paper he has filled in so neatly.

“That? That’s not for school. That’s for me. I need to have an accurate record.”

My mind sings. My son is so smart! So organized! So talented! He’s creating new work for himself to do, to stay challenged! I smile wide, impressed with his genius abilities.

“ … because otherwise you might eat it all. This way I can keep track.”

Did I mention he was smart?



  1. Yeah. Now we have the same kid. I'm sending you a picture from last year if I can find of it of Dan with his sorted candy. He did a year-over-year comparison and has reported that Tootsie Rolls are still the #1 choice of Chicago parents. And he, too wants to note any sudden declines in inventory.

  2. Kids can be very serious about their candy. Ours are ok with dumping everything in one pile, but they are VERY strict about the number of pieces each gets. "Why does he get two?" "But he already had one!" You get the picture.

  3. My mom and I just dump it into a great big bowl and pick at it. With the twelve-year-old (me) girl, the Age-Censored Mother (her) and the Candy-Unresistant Guy (the guy my mom and I live with, also my hunting buddy- we're not related. don't ask.), it goes pretty quick. All of the good stuff is gone- it's been dregs since five days ago, I think. xD
    -Taki the Aspiring Falconer and Hunter

  4. marianne-- we really are the same person, you are just the infinitely cooler version, whereas I am the one who ... uh ... well, what I mean is ... when people think of me they usually say that I ... heck with it, we'll just call me the "Blond one who lives back East and pretends she's a writer." Yeah, good enough.

    couse--clearly, our kids could be best friends.

    taki--maybe some marketer should jump on that and name a candy "Dregs". It could be all weird left-over stuff. (Not to be confused with "Drugs" although the confusion might potentially help sales.)



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