I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’ve got 4 kids. And when you’ve got four kids, nothing lasts in the house. Especially food. Take, for example, a regular box of granola bars. Said box might last the average family 2.5 days. In my house? It’s an hour. And that’s only if I’m standing nearby.
Well, the same goes with pop tarts. My kids laugh at the 8 pop tarts that come in a box. That’s a sorbet for them. And S’mores pop tarts? Them sumbitches don’t stand a chance!
So, early on in my child rearing years, I adopted ma’s rule of “one per day”. Look, I hate admitting it, especially in such an open way, but she’s right. And the only reason I’m admitting it at all, is cause she don’t read this shit, so I’m good. In any case, she’s right. More than one pre-packaged snack a day (granola bar, pop tart, toaster strudel) burns through the food that much faster. And by week’s end? You’re just gnawing on cardboard boxes and carrots.
Now that we have everything set up, let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? Not too long ago, there was just one pack of S’mores pop tarts left in the pantry at my house. I spotted them a few moments earlier while moving the dirty laundry round the house and made a mental note to eat them the next time I passed by (what can I say? I like S’mores pop tarts, too. What’s not too like? Graham cracker crust. Chocolate/marshmallow filling. Manna from heaven. ) When I passed through the kitchen again, I caught Jethro eating both of them. At the same time!!!! WTF?!?!?
“What are you doing?” I asked, more than slightly peeved.
He gave me the look of complete innocence. “Nothing.” Jethro shrugged.
I nodded to the pop tarts in his hands. “You’re eating two pop tarts?” I asked. Master of the obvious, I know.
“Yea.” Again with the look of innocence.
“At the same time?”
He considered it for a moment. And decided he was completely within his rights. “Yea.” He nodded.
“Why?” Maybe it was just me. Maybe I was missing something here. But, I was getting more than a little cheezed off by his nonchalant attitude toward the whole thing. I WANTED THOSE POP TARTS!!!
“I dunno.” He said with another shrug. “I was hungry.”
I looked over at her. Then focused my stink eye right back at Jethro. “Is that why you’re eating both pop tarts?”
“I dunno” he shrugged, helplessly. Caught!
“Let me get this straight.” I said, ramping the theatrics up. “You’re eating the last two pop tarts because you didn’t want your brother to have one?”
Jethro stared at me, lousy with pop tart goodness, not answering.
“Ever think that maybe someone else wanted one, Jethro? Besides your brother? Not everything in this house has your name on it. Maybe someone else wanted a pop tart, Jett. Maybe I wanted one!!!”
Jethro considered his options for a moment, then offered up the less eaten of the two pop tarts in my direction.
I recoiled like he was offering me sushi, or a mug of three day old bathwater. “I don’t want that” I spat shaking my head in anger. “I can’t believe you. How many times have I told you?” I paused, turning to face Natalia and now Jakob, who stopped by to see what all the commotion was about. “How many times have I told ALL of you? One snack per day. And you’re having two? At the same time?!?!?”
Jethro didn’t quite know what to do.
“Know what?” I said, snatching the tasty treat away from him. “I will take that.” I pushed the pop tart into Jakob’s hands, even though I really wanted it. But, I wasn’t about to eat a half eaten pop tart (You kidding me? One pop tart is a tease for your friendly neighborhood jman. Three quarters of a pop tart? For get it!). I stormed out of the kitchen and headed to my room. No! I wasn’t crying like a little girl. I know that’s what you were thinking, thou.
As I thudded down the hallway, I was struck by a thought. I abruptly stopped at the door of Sarah’s bedroom . “Sarah!” I called out, knocking on the door.
“What?” She replied through the door, not really even bothering to hide her annoyance at being disturbed.
“Get down stairs. ASAP!” I called back, as I took off down the steps toward the kitchen.
“What?!?!?” Sarah said, dragging herself out of her room.
“Get down here.” I said, pointing at the living room floor.
She shuffled down the steps. “What?”
I motioned over to the corner. “Grab the two chairs out of the closet.”
“Just do it!” I snapped.
She spun around with a roll of her eyes and headed to the coat closet by the front door. She definitely took her teenage time getting the chairs out. “C’mon!” I said, grabbing one from her and unfolded it just before the kitchen tile. “Sit!” I commanded Jakob.
I grabbed the other chair from Sarah and unfolded it next to the one Jakob on. “Sit!” I hissed at her.
“Natalia!” I called out with a sneer. “Turn around.”
I reached out and snatched the pop tart I just moments ago, handed to Jakob.