Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dad's Way or the Milky Way

With all of the candy flying around our house of late a fun-size Milky Way bar made its way to the night stand beside my bed last week.

And that's where it sat collecting dust for a few days, until 6:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning as Mrs. Blackwell and I were making haste, preparing for the day ahead. 


Standing in his PJs, his hair still disheveled from a long night's sleep, the boy held out his hand, clutching the Milky Way, and said, "Chocolate?"
Pictured: breakfast at the Blackwell household

My first instinct was to say, "No way. Absolutely not." Then, the worst parental instincts kicked in. 

"Gee, he sure looks cute right now. His sleepy little eyes. His hair all messed up and his PJs with the built-in footies. Why not just give him some chocolate?"

For her part, Mrs. Blackwell recommended no course of action. However, she did offer a helpful anecdote from her childhood about a time she developed an early-morning stomachache after feasting on Easter candy.

In retrospect, I understand why she withheld her input, something she rarely does. If you were her watching the boy, the Milky Way and the befuddled dad, why do anything when you know one of two things is going to happen:

1) dad is going to crumble and give the kid the candy, and assume all guilt and responsibility for this brash breach of good parenting protocol.

2) dad is going to hold tough, refuse to open candy and the kid, at which point dad is solely responsible for any tantrum that might follow.

So why inject yourself into that situation? My wife is too smart and was instead content to sit back and watch this one play out.

So, dear reader, what did I do? Where did the fun size Milky Way end up on this fine day?

As an aside I'd like to point something out here.


Having warm, freshly cleaned sheets, just out of the dryer
dumped all over you just after you've been woken up.
Second only to the Milky Way wakeup.

I get why they're called "fun size" — they're smallish and cute and it's a wonderful way for marketers to diminish the fact that each of these individually wrapped little calorie bombs is one-third of a full-size chocolate bar. Nevermore is this reality more apparent than when it's your kid brandishing one of them. 

(Ultimately and, as we all know, simply slapping the word "fun" on something removes all consequences. "Check out this fun-size bottle of bourbon.")

OK, back to the story at hand. The boy's got a chocolate bar, I'm in a rush and running late. What did I do?

We all know what you'd do. You'd politely refuse your little one, pat them on the head and send them back to work perfecting their Mandarin calligraphy.

Well, as I've detailed here before, I'm far from perfect. But, my boy can tell you that, when it comes to doling out chocolate at odd hours, I'm as perfect as can be.

A short while after this scenario began and, with his sweet tooth presumably sated, I carried the boy downstairs to prepare his usual healthy breakfast but no sooner was the fridge within eyeshot than did the boy request "chokkit maailk, chokkit maailk."

Yep, barely five minutes after enjoying an early morning Milky Way the boy wanted more "chokkit."

After about .0001 seconds of consideration, I resolved that enough was enough. For his part, the boy seemed to agree and apple juice sufficed.

You can't blame the kid for trying and — this time — you couldn't blame me at all.

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