I want you to know that I love you all with the smoldering intensity of a distant sun. One that is neither exploding into existence nor burning out in one big gigantic supernova. It is just blazing consistently, happy to illuminate and warm those in its orbit, and maybe do the eensiest bit of damage if proper precautions aren't taken. Nothing could ever change this warm, fiery, fusion-y love I have for you.
And I love treats. By now we have all known each other long enough that you have seen me tear into ice cream with great abandon, or stuff my face with Boston Kremes, or swipe your Halloween candy in the name of a "snack tax."
And I love getting you treats. I know it doesn't always seem that way. I don't always get as excited or eager about things as some folks do, and I'm probably the humbuggiest person in the family. I feel like I say no a lot, because sometimes it's right before a meal, or we've already had a lot of treats that day, or I feel it's a good moment for learning that you don't get a treat every time (hence the term 'treat'), or I know that there's some issue hiding behind the treat, and saying yes to the treat might actually make things worse rather than better. But I love the occasions where the time and circumstance are right and I can say yes to the treats.
And in the general scheme of things, I love granola bars. They are junky enough to be delicious and desired, and just healthy enough to be preferred--perhaps very slightly--over a candy bar. Every week in the grocery store I walk past the shelf of Sunbelt granola bars, and in my mind I am forcibly restraining myself in order to prevent grabbing a box or three, because they are so yummy, but we would each eat 5 in one sitting and then feel sick & gross, and gain nothing from the experience. I totally get it about granola bars, believe me.
And I know that you are still learning the food-stays-in-the-kitchen rule. I know it's difficult because it's a new rule in this house. I know you see Mom & Dad eat food on the couch (while you are supposed to be in bed, thankyouverymuch), and it's hard that we have a different expectation for you.
But here's the thing: 3 of you are still very...crumbly...when you eat granola bars. Don't get me wrong, this is totally age appropriate for all of you. I don't yet expect you to be pristine about the granola bits. But being crumbly, and still working on keeping food in the kitchen, means that we get granola bar crumbs on the carpet. And the sensible--if worn-out--carpet hides the crumbs well. And maybe this particular time I did a lazy half-vacuum job over some of the affected areas, but I didn't get them all.
And here is how I know I didn't get all the granola bits, family: ANTS. I am so awesome and can handle so many things (poo, for starters...), but ants drive me bonkers. I found them in the bathroom, and traced their teeny little steps, and what do you suppose I found? Yep. Granola crumbs. And ants on the granola crumbs, making it look like the granola crumbs themselves were crawling off somewhere.
And even this is perhaps forgivable. I threw all the bathroom rugs in the wash, and gave the place a couple good vacuumings, and looked up natural ant remedies just in case clean rugs don't do the trick (hello vinegar, I love you and buy you by the gallon).
But there is a deal breaker, and it is this. There was an ant in my bra. And it was wriggling around just enough that I thought it was a weird stray hair that had shed from my head and was just kind of taunting my skin until I found and grabbed it. And thank GOD the not-a-stray-hair-ANT didn't bite me or this whole post would be in shouty caps.
Now, 3 of the 4 of you will never use a bra (I assume), and the one of you who will is decidedly several years away from that reality, so I don't expect you to grasp the entire magnitude of the reality of finding a living creature in such a personal space. But trust me, it is full of magnitude, and highly unpleasant, and all the other things you might imagine about finding a living ant in your underthings.
And so next time we are in the store and you are asking for granola bars and I'm responding, "Heavens NO!" with that weird tone I use for awkward emphasis, or we are at home and I am vetoing Daddy's promise of granola bars, or one day out of nowhere I suddenly shudder and chant "NOOOOO granola bars!!" and you ask why not, the reason--whether or not I say it aloud--will be "ANTS (in my bra)" and there will be nothing said to change my mind. Because my mind will not be changed until you have demonstrated to me that you have all grown out of the "crumbly" phase.
Love you all so much, and please get that snack back into the kitchen.