Lollipops and Glasses

The whole meltdown at my sister’s house would not have happened if I had
been wearing my reading glasses.

Since I no longer need glasses for distance, I tend to forget the reading
glasses when I shop. Most of the time that’s OK, but this time I ended up
buying something that I would never have purchased had I been able to read the price. Lollipops

See, my sister was visiting. She has three kids, two boys, eight and ten,
and a girl. Her five-year-old daughter likes all things feminine, and we
were in the mall, so I thought it would be fun to take her in to Bath and
Body Works. As luck would have it, she did NOT fixate on bubble bath. Her
little eyes opened wide at the sight of some lollipops. The multicolored variety that swirl around and are on a wooden stick. Could she have some?

“Sure,” I said. “Let’s get some for your brothers, too.”

We picked out three of the big-as-my-hand monstrosities and headed to the checkout. Where I would have put them back. Except I couldn’t have stood the look in Jane’s blue eyes. I had not even looked at the price tag. They cost $17.50, $5.50 apiece plus tax! And while my husband accuses me of spoiling pretty near every one in our family, I would normally not do so with candy.

The boys weren’t really thrilled with them, so I told them I could take the
lollipops back and get them something else. No, that’s not what they
wanted. They would eat them, they said.

That was last Friday and, in truth, I had forgotten about them. Then my
sister called this afternoon. A short time into our conversation, an
unearthly screeching started. It came closer and closer to the phone, and
my sister got increasingly agitated. Turned out it was my niece.

I don’t know why I wasn’t thinking when I bought those lollipops. As I was
busily looking for three that weren’t broken, I had inadvertantly purchased
two cherry and a peppermint. The kids decided that they didn’t like
peppermint (although I had seen them eat candy canes ) and were fighting over the cherry.

My sister lost it and took both candy and Christmas cookies out to the
trash. Then she cried. She wanted to know why the kids couldn’t get along.
She wanted to know how she was going to survive Christmas break. I can
remember wondering such things myself as my kids were growing up.

I don’t think I was much help to her. I told her to breathe deeply. I told
her I would have probably smashed the lollipops, but it turned out the kids
had smashed two out of three anyway. And I told her I was sorry.

Next time I will wear my reading glasses when I shop. Who knows what
problems I may avoid?


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December 2005
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