let them eat candy

Yesterday [Easter] Alex and I tried a new parenting tactic, which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself slightly hungover (from too much fun at a wedding the night before) on Easter morning when the kids shake you awake at 5:45am: let them eat all of their Easter candy. All of it. In one day. This is how I arrived at my candy overloading strategy:

1. I drank some wine at a wedding, didn't eat enough food and stayed out too late.
2. I fell asleep when I got home and forgot to put out the Easter baskets.
3. I woke up at 5:00am in a panic about forgetting to put out the Easter baskets.
4. I put out the Easter baskets (and hid eggs around the living and dining rooms).
5. I went back to bed but couldn't fall asleep.
6. I finally fell asleep; 5 minutes later kid #1 was crawling in beside me...followed by two and three.
7. By 6:30am all the eggs were found and the contents of three baskets were strewn about the house.
8. By 7:00am Frozen (an Easter present) was in the DVD player.
9. By 7:36am Tillie was in a jellybean coma staring at the TV.

It was at this point in the day--before church, before releasing butterflies at the Capitol, before brunch--that I told the children they could eat all their Easter candy. I was tired and tired of the thought of doling out candy in tiny increments for the next two weeks. So that was it. Catcher showed a surprising amount a self-restraint early in the afternoon while the girls were napping and he quietly ate his Nerds one at a time. When Scout woke up after three hours of recharging, she relegated herself to the front porch and ate everything in her basket, stopping only to peek her head inside the door and ask me for water and some wipes. When Tillie woke up and joined her, after five minutes of candy binging, I overheard her saying "No. I don't want any more." I investigated the scene and found chocolate bunnies with their heads eaten off and foil wrappers scattered about.

Next on the agenda was a backyard Easter egg hunt. And then another one. And then another one. And then a reverse Easter egg hunt where the kids hid the eggs (and subsequently hunted the eggs). It was at this point that Alex and I observed three children at three different stages of sugar high. Tillie was in the PCP phase of invincibility and running wild through the yard in her "monster" voice. Scout was coming down off of her high and began sobbing uncontrollably...she needed another hit. Catcher finally decided to attack his Peep stick, which led to the marijuana giggles. It might sound crazy, but my strategy worked. The kids pretty much ate themselves sick, skipped dinner, bathed and went to bed on time without any backlash. And now I have an answer when they ask me if there's any more candy.

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