Saturday, September 16, 2006

Candy for Breakfast After Waking Up Broke

Yesterday I woke up before the sun to the din of Kade screaming at the top of his lungs, "I WANT CANDY! I WANT CANDY! NOW, MOMMY! CANDY NOW!" Once I realized that I wasn't in the middle of a nightmare I shuffled half-asleep in my husband's boxers down the hallway in the direction of my candy-demanding Veruca Salt. Turned out Kade had a dream that it was the sugar-coated morning after Halloween. He was convinced it was fact. "No way, man. Sorry but there's no way I'm gonna' give you candy until after you've eaten a healthy breakfast," I squawked. "Yes, momma, CANDY NOW!"

For dessert following a breakfast of fresh-cut pineapple, broken-yolk fried eggs and frozen Eggos (he actually likes to eat them still-frozen), I treated Kade to two sugar-free, food coloring-free gummy bear vitamins. Does the trick every morning. The kids think I'm a sucker because they nibble a little candy before noon and I feel like a snotty, satisfied tofu mom because I slip them additive-free nutrients on the sly. Not bad when you consider that for a long time I convinced them that raisins and dates were the only "candies" on the Trader Joe's shelves.

Like most mornings, Kade was the rooster of the house. He stirred Aiden and Solenne, who both didn't hack his cacophonic wake-up call so well. Solenne, who usually wakes up a buttery ball of sunshine ready to attack the world opened her big blues and busted into a tantrum demanding I put a pair of "lell-ow" shoes on her that don't exist and probably appeared in a dream state too.

Money. Big, fat leather twine-cinched satchels of money. Robin Hood gold coins a-plenty. The fairy tale money bags you'd imagine the buck-toothed giant at the top of Jack's beanstalk would've hoarded next to his captive golden-egg spewing swan. That's what I dreamed about most vividly when I was a kid. I'd wake with dollar signs for eyes and dash to my closet, sure that beneath the pastel piles of Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake dolls (always topped by my single silver-mittened Michael Jackson Barbie for fast "thriller" access), positive that I'd uncover the jackpot of my dreams. Not so. Dream after money-lusting dream, all I'd ever turn up were cat-hair woven dust balls and scattered Garbage Pail Kid cards worn at the edges.

Pathetically, since giving up a regular paycheck to stay home with the kids, I revisit my childhood jackpot dream a few times a year (and with higher frequency lately), when I hopefully stick my ATM card in the slot and nothing but air comes out. On piggy bank scavenging, broker-than-a-joke days like that, I tell the kids, who watch me from the van parked right behind me (is that illegal?) in the bank's handicapped parking spot (that's definitely illegal and bad Karma), that it's the ATM machine that's broke, not me.

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