Friday, July 19, 2013

Sugared Up

The Costco bag of brown sugar was gaping open, and it was empty almost all the way to the bottom.

Every time I see that bag when I’m looking through the cabinet for a jar of tomato sauce, popcorn, beans, I always think, “I need to buy one of those ‘brown sugar bears’ so every bag of brown sugar won’t transform into huge rocks.” Somebody asks for cinnamon toast for breakfast, and I cringe. I don’t want to scrape sugar off the top of the mass that is now our Costco bag of sugar. I’m obligated to do it until I use up this bag, but I don’t want to do it.  
This is part of the reason I thought it was odd that the bag was open.  Nobody ever touches that bag of rock-hard sugar but me.

The other reason is because my husband typically buys his own little bag of brown sugar when he feels a need to add it to barbecue sauce. (Does your husband do that, too? Purchase special ingredients every time when he cooks, whether you have the stuff at home or not? Because he “can’t remember” if we have any, but what comes home for special cooking projects always seems to be name brand and not on sale?)

Anyway, I was cooking, so I grabbed a can of black beans, closed up the industrial-sized bag of brown sugar, and moved on.

I finished what I was doing, and 30 minutes later, I was sitting in the living room on my couch. I was just settling into vegetation mode when I heard a rattling in the kitchen…cabinets knocking, the crinkling of plastic. The crinkling went on for awhile.

“Olivia? Rosemary? Who’s in there?” I half expected to have to chase the dog away from the trash can again. I never noticed anybody go into the kitchen...

Finally, Olivia came out and stood in the doorway, her mouth full—FULL—of huge chunks of brown sugar. “Hi, Mommy,” she croaked, her cheeks full of the stuff. She still had some in her hand. And somehow, even with her cheeks full, she was grinning.

The grin on her face…that grin

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You look like you just stole cookies from the cookie jar.” That’s the look she had. It’s the face that means, “I just got a whole handful of brown sugar, and it’s in my belly now, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” It’s the face that says, “I've totally been playing you on the brown sugar, Mama. And if you turn your head, I’m totally doing it again in 5 minutes.” 

Let me just say, when I figured out what she was doing, I wasn’t sweet. Pun intended. I will save you from the details of yet another exasperated mama mean...parenting opportunity.

But I assure you--I moved the sugar.

One day, that kid is going to be a Mama herself. And I predict that she's going to have her own secret stash of brown sugar and a spoon, and that she will pull it out when nobody is looking, probably in the same way I pull out my stash of chocolate in those desperate moments.

And her kid is going to find her stash. Because this future grandma may or may not show the kid where it is and how to grab a great big handful.

Do you have a little sneak at your house, too?